Zen Buddhism. Design Principles of Wabi Sabi, Wabi Sabi in the Art of Zen.
Please follow re theory into practice…
I hereby offer some quotes from the book, relevant to my theory in the Art of Utopia..
“The small dark bowl that had so caught my attention had no real design to speak of, its surface was rough and impregnated with years of Turkish cuisine.. and yet there was something about it that was captivatingly attractive. The glazed surface had become rich with visual nuance and its simple unrefined form was pure and unaffected by artistic considerations- it was one of a thousand similar bowls, but its rusticity and artlessness were extraordinarily expressive and resonated with the imperfections and impermanence of life. The pot we so admired had what the Japanese refer to as Wabi Sabi.
Rooted in Zen Buddhism, Wabi Sabi is an aesthetic philosophy shrouded in centuries of mystery. The Japanese have an admirable tendency to leave the unexplainable, unexplained, as is the case with Zen, whose most profound teachings cannot be communicated by verbal explanations. Zen believes words are the fundamental obstacle to clear understanding.
Zen Monks seek to reach their goal of enlightenment not through learning but by unlearning of all preconceived notions of life and reality”.
Preface: Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence. Andrew Juniper.
“As Zen and Christianity differ profoundly, so do the philosophies that have guided the development of art under the two cultural banners.
Wabi Sabi art challenges us to unlearn our views of beauty and to rediscover the intimate beauty to be found in the smallest details of nature’s artistry”.
I find such literature refreshing to read as I indentify with it directly, and as a westerner, often feel such philosophy is lacking in our culture. It is for these very reasons, amongst others, that forms of Wabi Sabi are to be found in my artistic endevours to date. Certainly I am inspired to find I have been thinking along such lines akin to such ancient philosophy. Reading Wabi Sabi has to me, initially proved a little like finding another spiritual home, a system of belief, or even non belief, in which one can truly apply themselves, take real comfort in pursuing in the understanding it is as sounder logic as logic could hope to convey.
An excerpt from a passage of literature I wrote, taken from my art exhibition of 2007 concerning ‘the opposition of automatic response’:
“…art that is as far removed from identification as possible. Unknowing, unlearning the senses…”