The Beauty in Imperfection | Wabi-Sabi
or: The mindfulness of time and transience
Perfection and flawlessness, even (eternal) beauty of things and people up to unnaturalness: In the West, these values have been deeply anchored for centuries and dominate our perception of beauty.
In Japan, influenced by (Zen) Buddhism, a completely different concept of beauty and aesthetics has developed: Wabi-Sabi. What is meant by this is to discover beauty, grace and elegance in the old, in aging or in mistakes, against the background of the melancholy of the fleeting moment. “Nothing in the universe is perfect, nothing is forever, nothing stands still, but is constantly changing,” according to the understanding of Buddhism. The cherry blossom is a visible symbol of this every year.
The traditional Japanese craft of kintsugi is an artistic expression of wabi-sabi. Old, broken ceramics are artfully repaired with Urushi lacquer and Urushi putty mixed with the finest gold, silver or platinum powder. Thus, the cracks appear exposed, own works of art arise from the broken, defective, old. Kintsugi, the “gold compound”, awakens them to new life, aesthetic, unique and authentic.
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