Wabi-Sabi World

Wabi-Sabi World: An Artist’s Search

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Abstract:

In the discussion of symmetry and beauty and their relation to each other, there arises a disconnect between science and culture; where science looks to explain the universe in as concrete terms as possible, art and culture explain the surrounding world through less precise means based on relationships and emotion.

The Japanese term wabi-sabi describes an aesthetic of the imperfect, asymmetrical, and impermanent in all things, and is considered by some scholars to be the core of Japanese culture. As West and East are often pitted against each other, so are symmetry and asymmetry, but the pairs do not have to be mutually exclusive to increase an overall understanding of the universe.

This project is the result of research in chemistry, philosophy, and art to explore the appeal of asymmetry versus symmetry, as the foundation of a creative effort to portray wabi-sabi through photographs and the haiku form of poetry.

Yodogawa sunset photo
Yodogawa (River), Neyagawa-shi, Osaka, Japan, December 2013