Wednesday, January 17, 2007

To every thing there is a season; Or how to make Wabi-Sabi art

I'm thinking about making Wabi-Sabi art or a little altered wisdom book about and full of wabi-sabi art.

The other day someone asked me for a zine of instructions on how to make wabi-sabi art. Well I don't have such zine but I thought why not!? What a marvelous metaphor that would be. In a throw away, conspicuous consumption culture, to create something precious, simple, old, revered, and imperfect... well, I just think it would be the best!

My favorite author on things wabi-sabi is Leonard Koren. In "Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers" Koren describes wabi-sabi as a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete, a beauty of things modest and humble,and a beauty of things unconventional. He also says wabi-sabi is a nature-based aesthetic ideal that restores a measure of sanity and proportion to the art of living. He believes it is deep, multi-dimensional, elusive, and because of this wabi-sabi is the perfect antidote to the pervasively slick, saccharine, market driven style of beauty.

Wabi-sabi art then would take an intuitive world-view in which things are relative, soft edged, ambiguous, contradictory, flexible, and idiosyncratic. One-of-a-kind, personally meaningful objects are valued. Materials might be gleaned from nature, since wabi-sabi celebrates the fundamental uncontrollability and impermanence of all things natural. The bowl is a fundamental metaphor in wabi-sabi art.

I love this. So now I'll go in search of a book to alter to fill with wabi-sabi wisdom and art.

1 comment:

Ann said...

Thank you, Lani. I am enlightened and intrigued, and I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with!