shibui / shibusa

shibui / shibusa

I’ve traveled through many cultures looking at how people express their creativity, and for me, there’s no aesthetic philosophy more refined than the Japanese approach.

What blows me away is how evident beauty is in Japanese culture.  Aesthetic values in Japan are an integral part of daily life, shaped by a set of ancient ideals.  The concepts are profoundly specific, and what amazes me most is that they have no direct translation in other cultures.

To describe each of them for you here would require a lot more reading than you probably have time for, but in a nutshell, they include terms like wabi (transient and stark beauty), sabi (the beauty of natural patina and aging), yūgen (profound grace and subtlety), shibui (beauty with inner implications) and other poetic values that express the cycle of life as a dynamic whole.

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hands on experience

I get lost looking at art.  It just makes me feel more human.  For me, the connection stems from knowing that each object is a direct reflection of the person who made it.  Whatever the reason for creating it – commissioned art, tortured art, practical, outrageous – it’s all a reflection of an individual hand.  Someone’s thought process.  Someone’s vision made real.

I’m always fascinated by the why, but more than anything else, I love to picture the person actually making it.  The tools.  The time invested.  The mistakes.  The everyday frustrations of the creative process.  The journey from a lump of clay.

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