Saturday, November 22, 2014

When Empty becomes Full

Zen Garden, Folded accordion book, by Donna Watson


Here are some of the books I have on Zen and Wabi-sabi.  Wabi-Sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete.  Actually, Wabi-sabi also encompasses life, nature and the cycles of life and death, the changing seasons, and feelings.


My most recent book acquisition is Wabi Inspirations by Axel Vervoordt.  Wabi is a Japanese concept
that derives from simplicity and authenticity.  It values the beauty in imperfection.  Elegance in natural materials, timelessness within tradition:  these are the principles that define Axel Vervoordt's personal take on the concept.  In this book, he reveals the interiors that are inspired by Wabi.  He shows how to create calm, peaceful spaces in which beauty is distilled to its purest form.  Photos are by Laziz Hamani and all the images in this blog post come from the book.


Within this void we can explore the very essence of time itself:  the pregnant possibility of everything.

"Every something is an echo of nothing."  John Cage


"Leaving something incomplete makes it interesting and gives one the feeling that there is room for growth."  Yoshida Kenko, (1283-1350), Essays in Idleness 


The intrinsic beauty found in peeling paint, bare concrete, exposed plaster, rusty metal pillars, battered floors, and weathered stone reveres the beauty of imperfections and honors the passage of time.  Patinas and textures in their primal state become even more expressive.


"The emptiness is the space where the essential unfolds and then it becomes full/empty."
Jef Veheyen


The spirit of Wabi deepens the profound experience of this immense space, and provides an insight that leads to an inner sense of peace.  The vast emptiness resounds with silence.


"I am seeking to represent the void.  Humanity, in accepting the idea of infinity, has already accepted the idea of Nothingness."  Lucio Fontana, Self Portrait, 1969


The untouched and the unrestored has a character and warmth that is one of the underlying concepts of Wabi.  The result of benign neglect works its subtle magic.

This image is from the blog Mundo Japon

"Ichi-go, ichi- e" was first used by Sen Riikyu, the monk who first created the traditional Wabi tea ceremony.  It translates to 'meeting with people' and today is used to express
'for this time only' or 'this is the moment'.

22 comments:

iHanna said...

Great quotes. I bought a book on wabisabi ideas, on your recommendations but haven't read it yet. Maybe it will be my Christmas reading... :)

ELFI said...

imparfait..? non parfait.. l'essentiel en somme.. beau!

Jennifer said...

I so agree with Elfi. Wonderful post Donna.

Sue Marrazzo said...

GREAT post.

Ms. said...

Perfection is absolute. Love the Cage quote. Oh, how I wish to share this on my Face book time line

Judy Martin said...

Your posts are so beautiful, Donna.
The japanese aesthetic is very similar to the Finnish aesthetic I feel. Both are minimalist yet related so deeply to the natural world.

I've written down the titles from your pile of books - thank you.
x

Magdalena said...

Beautiful post Donna. Thank you for sharing!
best wishes to you ...

Judy Shreve said...

A beautiful post - fleeting thoughts - so full of nothing . . .timeless yet new.
Thank you.

Peggy said...

Lovely as always. Love the accordion book.

india flint said...

That phrase, "begin neglect". Perfect

Tammie Lee said...

thank you for this beautiful post.
i slowed to the moment, to meet with your words and these beautiful images. a good experience.

lovely week to you ~

Seth said...

Stunning images here Donna. And I love the concept of 'for this time only.' And Axel Vervoordt is the perfect choice for this post.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

I love your artist book Donna!Thank you for posting. I enjoy your insights and seeing the visual poetry that resonates with you.

Nancy said...

Beautiful.

Sharmon Davidson said...

Your book is incredible - wish I could see all of it, and closer up. Are the degigns on it had-pulled prints? I would love to know more about your process. the 'wabi interiors' you shared are very intriguing as well, and make me want to enter those spaces and take in their calm beauty...

Sand Hill Art said...

I was struck by the Kenko quote. Incomplete and empty are words that frighten. Nothing to cling to, yet filled with possibility.

Caterina Giglio said...

I agree with Sharmon, I would love to see more of your book... it is stunning ... I always look forward to your posts... thank you

Barry said...

Hi D - always good when a fellow artist shares some of the theory, concepts and literature that underpins their approach to their life and art. Thanks. B

mansuetude said...

Love this post. thank you

Happy Thankgiving.

Paris Rendez-vous and Beyond said...

Adore it all Donna…and your work. Totally beautiful. So much thought…attention to detail….and sensitivity.

I hope we'll have many future e-connections. Kind regards, Robyn.

trish quilty said...

thank you so much for this inspiring post with the visuals. Love the quote and your book artwork.

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