a few of my favourite things #4 : ‘wabi-sabi’


Wabi-Sabi is an ancient Buddhist philosophy and principle of Japanese aesthetics centred around the ‘perfection’ in im-perfection and transience. The principle can be described as judging beauty in the ‘imperfect, impermanent and incomplete’. Characteristics of Wabi-Sabi can include; asymmetry, texture and tone, simplicity, economy, modesty, intimacy, decay, and an appreciation of natural forms, objects and processes.

My affection for Wabi-Sabi informs my life everyday and everything I do. An appreciation and mindfulness of an aesthetic can transform our lives. It enables us to see beauty and take joy in our otherwise mundane every-day routines. An example of this aesthetic is no more present than in Buddhist gardens in Japan and China. Having recently lived and worked in China, I was fortunate enough to visit a large number of these gardens and witnessed many great examples of Wabi-Sabi

However one does not need travel the expanse of the globe to experience such examples –  we just need to simply take the time out of our daily lives to stop.. and look around us. An approach that could perhaps benefit us all…

Wab-Sabi: detail - M50 Shanghai

Wab-Sabi: detail – M50 Shanghai

Wabi-Sabi: detail - Master of the Nets Garden - Suzhou

Wabi-Sabi: detail – Master of the Nets Garden – Suzhou


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