Wabi Sabi: Impermanence, Art, and a Journey to Japan

Wabi Sabi: Impermanence, Art, and a Journey to Japan

I have long been intrigued by the Japanese concept of wabi sabi, the roots of which can be found in Zen Buddhism. Intrigued longer, it seems, than I have had a name for the idea. This changed shortly after I journeyed through Japan alongside my Japanese art Collector. Wabi sabi is a philosophy that deals with transience, imperfection and the incompleteness of objects that man makes and has been making for all time. Followers of wabi sabi believe that: Nothing lasts Nothing is finished Nothing is perfect I traveled to Japan on two occasions, once in 2007 and once in 2008. One of my Japanese Collectors is a prolific collector of antiquities from around the world. He saw my work at a solo exhibition in London, during the spring of 2006, and purchased a great many of my paintings that year. Soon after, he invited me to Japan to travel with him throughout his country. We journeyed east and west, north and south visiting many museums, fish markets, galleries, and teashops. While traveling with my Japanese Collector, who is well known throughout Japan, I experienced the country in a way very different than many others. At many stops along our winding route we would be served tea in the most wonderfully delicate manner. Amidst a good deal of polite bowing, the tea was always brought out in a beautiful clay pot and small teacups. My eye was drawn to how often the cups might be a bit misshapen or have slight cracks running across the surface. I puzzled over the somewhat irregular glaze. It was not until a friend...