What are the key tenets of wabi-sabi?

The Japanese term wabi-sabi (侘寂) suggests such qualities as impermanence, humility, asymmetry, and imperfection. These underlying principles are diametrically opposed to those of their Western counterparts, whose values are rooted in the Hellenic worldview that values permanence, grandeur, symmetry, and perfection. In an arts context, a non-literal translation of wabi-sabi is ‘flawed beauty’.
Is my art practice wabi-sabi friendly?
I am a printmaker inspired by local wildlife and rural settings. My blocks are hand carved and printed using acid free paper and oil-based printing inks. I use hessian backed lino. Each print is different because of the handprinting methods used.
Yes, my art practice seems to align with the principles of wabi-sabi.

Here are 10 reasons why:

  1. I use natural or rustic materials, such as hessian backed lino, that fit within the wabi-sabi aesthetic.
  2. The imperfections that come with hand-carving and hand-printing align with the wabi-sabi appreciation of the beauty in impermanence and imperfection.
  3. The inspiration from local wildlife and rural settings also aligns with the appreciation of the natural world in wabi-sabi.
  4. My use of acid-free paper and oil-based inks shows a respect for the longevity and quality of my prints, which is valued in wabi-sabi.
  5. Each print being different due to the hand-printing methods aligns with the appreciation of uniqueness in wabi-sabi.
  6. The simplicity and understated elegance in my prints fits within the wabi-sabi appreciation of simplicity and austerity.
  7. The focus on the process of creation, rather than just the final product, aligns with the wabi-sabi appreciation of the beauty in the journey.
  8. The use of traditional techniques and materials aligns with the appreciation of authenticity in wabi-sabi.
  9. The emphasis on the connection between the artist, nature, and community aligns with the interconnectedness valued in wabi-sabi.
  10. Overall, the humility and reverence for nature and the creative process that are evident in my art practice aligns well with the core principles of wabi-sabi.

This blog was written with the assistance of Magic Write, Canva AI. The facts were researched to double-check the accuracy.




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