I spend a lot of time writing and I have rarely come across a topic that resists writing. Wabi Sabi has resisted writing. Anything with an ounce of Zen is all about experience and being in the moment. This takes a lot of practice. Someone I speak to regularly told me that trying to explain it is like trying to explain flight to a fish. And after struggling for a month, I must agree.
But that doesn’t mean the idea ends here – Far from it! It seems to want to become something else.
What is Wabi Sabi?
This might be the most difficult question to answer and a paragraph will always be inadequate. As soon as an answer seems imminent, it slips away into the indistinct and vague. Wabi Sabi is as much a state of mind or a feeling as it is something we can see in the concrete material world.
Wabi Sabi might loosely be described as impermanence, imperfection, ephemeral, simple, existing in the present moment – an aesthetic. It is deeply rooted in Nature and I have related it to a state of beautiful decay. It has no prejudice against the broken. It makes sense this aesthetic would evolve from a culture that reveres its elders.
Like art, Wabi Sabi is an experience.
The project itself was intended to explore and develop a way of thinking, or more accurately a way of being, through a greater awareness and drawn from looking at Asian cultural roots. Like art, Wabi Sabi is an experience. The experience of viewing art and art making can be enriched by this, a radically different approach from the predominating money culture surrounding the art world. This world is focused on two extremes; technique without soul or art where the explanation of the concept subverts the visual experience itself.
Every day, I am inundated every day with art marketing advice on how I should create and what I should create. Making a connection should not depend on an explanation, nor should it be a trend. It is something that happens inside of us when we take the time to pay attention – to experience. There are a number of ways to learn to do this. Some can be simple. others a discipline. In either case, we can connect more deeply with ourselves and that opens the way for connection.
Perhaps taking a Wabi Sabi point of view, beauty can be more easily found all around us, all the time, in every moment.
So, where does the project go from here and what will it look like? Next post….
Update on the Update….
OK. So the site does look different.
The website update is complete (at least the parts everyone can see!). Many of the visual elements are altered and there are some new drop downs in the menu. The site is more mobile friendly and another domain has been added (mhendry.com). I hope you like it!