The exhibition ‘elements of nOw’ is all about the moment in its complete deficiency and elusiveness. It embraces both that moment in which time has ceased to exist as well as that specific well-known moment in time.
That moment cannot be defined in terms of cause and consequence. To connect with the eternal present is pure consciousness and the core of wabi-sabi.
Wabi-sabi is the art of finding beauty in imperfection. To discover wabi-sabi is to experience the singular beauty of something that may first look ugly. Wabi-sabi reminds us that our bodies and the materials around us are transient and in a process of decay.
In short, wabi-sabi is everything that today’s consumer society isn’t. It does not share the modern ideology of the makeable society with its ready-made goals. In this eastern philosophy or way of living only the experience counts.
In ‘elements of nOw’ young artists help to create this mOment.
Wabi-sabi is a Japanese philosophy and aesthetics that emerged in the 15th century as a reaction to the prevailing aesthetic of lavishness and ornamentation. According to Leonard Koren, wabi-sabi can be defined as the art of finding beauty in something that is “imperfect, impermanent and incomplete.”
In Japan, the concept is so deeply ingrained that it is difficult to explain. No direct translation exists. Wabi symbolizes simple, humble, earthy, intimate beauty. Sabi refers to the irregular, unpretentious, ambiguous, rough textured and to fading beauty. Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic thus include asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, modesty, intimacy and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.
Bringing wabi-sabi into your life takes a mind quiet enough to appreciate muted beauty and willingness to accept things as they are. It depends on the ability to shift the balance from doing to being, to appreciating rather than perfecting. In today’s Japan, the meaning of wabi-sabi is “wisdom in natural simplicity”. In art books, wabi-sabi is defined as “flawed beauty”.
Wabi and sabi both suggest sentiments of desolation and solitude. In the Mahayana Buddhist view of the universe, genuine understanding of wabi-sabi cannot be achieved through words or language, so accepting wabi-sabi on non-verbal terms may be the most appropriate approach. Wabi-sabi can learn people to live life through the senses and better engage in life as it happens. Being surrounded by natural, changing, unique objects help us connect to our real world, to accept imperfection, the constant flux and impermanence of all things.