It is not easy to discern a soul
INTRODUCTION. Where to find Wabi Sabi if not in its homeland? In February 2016, I bought a ticket to Tokyo. It was my third trip to Japan. I spent 20 days when I first came there. Second time I was there for 21 day. Third time I made bold to stay 30 days. I'm afraid I will come to Japan again someday and stay there forever.
INSIGHT. This word explains what I felt and what I lived for in that month. Japan revealed me the aesthetics of imperfection, its traditions, and its way of thinking. The closer I made myself familiar with Wabi Sabi, the better I started to know myself.
I've been always searching for the Wabi Sabi, have been creating Wabi Sabi things, have been filling my interiors with the Wabi Sabi spirit. I only didn't know the right word for it. .
TEXTURES. They are the main Wabi Sabi attribute, something that makes Wabi Sabi so magnetic. I took numerous pictures to keep track of them. Unfortunately, iPhone’s camera was unable to capture my sensations when rough wood suddenly becomes alive under your palm or a chill creeps from a stone.
SIMPLEIS AMPLE.There is no chaos in nature. Nature is a perfect simplicity. Even a fence with a stone counterfort and bronze elements looks perfectly.
The buildings excellently fit into the landscapes. You look at a bridge and it seems like it has been there since the beginning of time.
Everything is so well ordered inside the Japanese stores, irrespective of what they sell – kimonos or sweets. All things go Zen – from the interior color palette to the products on offer.
Wabi Sabi signboards are never flamboyant. Instead, they are laconic and understated. I think they would work for today’s Kiev too! It would not be out of place to enhance city’s visual code. Our capital is lacking holistic architectural and artistic concept as well as a planning policy.
WOOD. This is what you cannot imagine Wabi Sabi without. Returning to the signboards, in cafes and restaurants they are perfectly enhanced by wooden entrance groups. They make both ordinary people and well-versed designers turn their heads – I know it from my personal experience. For example, it is virtually impossible to walk on by that sequoia enriched with carvings.
TEMPLES. Yet one manifestation of Wabi Sabi. I lost count of how many of them I have visited. My IPhone has recorded something like 80.
When you enter a temple, you attain inner quietness. You suddenly feel inspired. You experience some complex and mixed feelings. Should you come to Japan, try to connect with its greatness. The appearance and scents of Japanese temples are unlike Christian churches, but in both cases you feel the presence of God.
THINGS FULL OF ENERGY.
Above the entrance to one of the temples I saw a huge old bast shoe (about 4 meters or even bigger).
As the legend says, once it belonged to a guard. I don’t know was it real or was it fabled by our guide. Anyway, today this giant monster protects the building against evil spirits. And bad people too.
EVERY SCENT IS A COMPLETE IDEA.
Scents live their own lives. Japan is big on simplicity, so even when it comes to perfumes you can notice lightness. The chemistry of local peoples’ skin is such that sophisticated blends mismatch it.
I always talk a lot about Wabi Sabi when it comes to interior but very little when it comes to… clothing. Above all, it’s easy fit. Coupled with ethnic elements, it looks gorgeous.
Many people wear Japanese costumes or clothing with traditional elements. I saw men wearing hakama (wide trousers with deep pleats) and girls wearing yukata (casual light kimono usually made of cotton fabric).
CERAMICS. My passion for ceramics brought me to Karatsu and Arita – two ancient workshops of Kyushu. For several centuries, products of the local artisans have been well-liked both in Japan and abroad.
In Karatsu, I was fortunate to see NakazatoTarouemon at work. I started my acquaintance with Nakazato (a ceramist in the 13th(!) generation) from visiting his museum. When I say his masterpieces have "impressed" me, it means practically nothing. This word is not enough to express my admiration.
After the museum, I went to the Tarouemon’s Gallery. It has a format of a small showroom – same as ours.
The last destination point was the workshop. I could not believe my eyes seeing Nakazato himself at a potter's wheel. Our guide said we had a great stroke of luck. The maestro is about 90 years old, it’s a great piece of luck to catch him working.
BEAUTY IN THE RAVAGES OF TIME
Japan teaches you to take a new look at things. You start noting surfaces slightly eaten by rust, or things that have faded due to countless touches. Wabi Sabi means that the things have lived their lives.
Your eyes become estranged from symmetry, unnatural shine, perfectly smooth edges. It's like you’ve learned to walk and do not want to come back to crawling.
I WANT TO SEE AND FEEL THE LIFE.