Wabi Sabi

Wabi sabi (侘寂) is appreciating the beauty in the naturally imperfect world. It is a way of thinking where the acceptance of transience and imperfection is at its core.

"Wabi sabi is the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete, the antithesis of our classical Western notion of beauty as something perfect, enduring, and monumental."

Leonard Koren

I have been thinking a lot lately about wabi sabi, and the enduring power this concept has. Yeah, “enduring power” goes a bit against the concept of wabi sabi, I know, but I can only describe it like this.

However, wabi sabi, as a concept and meaning, is far more complex. “Wabi” talks about a sense of simplicity coupled with impermanence and flaws/imperfection. “Sabi”, on the other hand, expresses the effect that time has on things. If you think about it, wabi sabi helps you understand the way things are in the world, and the notion that there is beauty in things that have survived time, that have scars and imperfections as a result of it. Scars make those objects much better, stronger, and more beautiful.

Think about it, if you are looking for minimalism and simplicity, what is more minimalist, in the modern sense of it, than wabi sabi? If you understand that fixing and repairing something makes it better, then wabi sabi helps you get over the modern obsessions of a materialistic world.

And yet, it’s not only about imperfect objects, minimalism, or raw simplicity.

There is a natural ambiguity to wabi sabi that I find extremely appealing. Even when the concept stands in stark contrast with most of the design styles that I love. I like moden, clean, straight, smooth lines, where the sharpness of the simple, feature-free surfaces create a sense of peace and space. Wabi sabi, breaks that with asymmetry, containing curved, imperfect lines, often unpolished or uneven. These objects show impermanence and true nature, whereas modern design and even materials try to be as indestructible and lasting as possible. Objects that embody wabi sabi have a natural sense of enduring beauty that can’t be overlooked. I find this extremely interesting and appealing.

"All things in life, including you, are in an imperfect state of flux, so strive not for perfection, but for excellence instead."

All this above was a long intro to the fact that I’m changing and adapting to things. And that I’m taking into account the imperfections of things to make them perfect.

I’ll edit this page as I can collect my thoughts better, but for now, I just wanted a brain dump of my thoughts.