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Paperback Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers Book

ISBN: 1880656124

ISBN13: 9781880656129

Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers

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Book Overview

From the Introduction Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional. The immediate catalyst for this book was a widely publicized tea event in Japan. The Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi has long been associated with the tea ceremony, and this event promised to be a profound wabi-sabi experience. Hiroshi Teshigahara, the hereditary iemoto (grand...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Appreciation vs Creation

I agree with all the good things said about this book; it is a deceptively short, simple book with potent content. However, I feel something should be mentioned. This is a book primarily about appreciating wabi-sabi (about finding it or seeing it out in the world), not so much about creating it. Koren describes wabi-sabi almost as a result of karma, or at least as a process in which the artist/designer has little impact. You can perhaps record it, but there's very little direct discussion of how to create wabi-sabi objects yourself (other than mention of sweaters made with randomly placed holes).This certainly doesn't take away from the book or reduce its value to artists and designers (seeing wabi-sabi and appreciating it is key to understanding, which in turn helps you use the concepts in your own work). I just feel the book's title is a bit misleading.What I would like to see (because I feel it is lacking in this book) is ideas on how artists might cultivate mistakes and accidents. Or take advantage of time and wear-n-tear. Or how artists use becoming/decaying metaphors. Just in general I would like to see more on wabi-sabi as it applies to the creation of things, rather than the appreciation of wabi-sabi in things that already exist.So this is a great book, but I think there's another great book on this subject that needs to be made.

A Guideline for Living

I have studied Japanese tea ceremony in Kyoto for 23 years and during that time read almost everything published in English on the subject. This book is a real pearl, and covers in all its shortness the subject so well, that you hardly need any other information to transform your life into something more beautiful and meaningful.It is a must for people directly involved with tea and Japanese aesthetics. It is a clear spring of sweet water that will quench the thirst of everyone. It is a source of inspiration, that can be integrated into any culture and be actively expressed in your own life style.Read it and feel inspired to do something great and good, not only for yourself, but for all you know, for nature and our common future on this earth.

Simple, beautiful

This is a wonerfully crafted book of basic definitions for those who have never heard the term Wabi-Sabi. The pictures not only strengthen the points the author makes but also illustrate what he can't put into words. Wabi-Sabi is an aesthetic that mostly lives in the ditches, basements, and out-of-the-way places of modern American society. This book gives the license and some philosophical tools to explore the simple life as a thing of beauty contrary to the glittering clutter often thrown at us in every aspect of our lives.

Pure delight

I love this book! It reminds me of the scene in "Brideshead Revisited" when Charles Ryder looks at the Van Gogh prints and travel posters decorating his room, and says, "I detected a jejune air which had not irked me before ... only the golden daffodils seemed to be real." Be warned: after you read this book, everything in your rooms will "irk" you except some wildflowers in a jam jar, an unpainted wooden table and one black futon. And you'll go insane if forced to stay at a Holiday Inn! Just carry some acorns and chestnuts in the pocket of your old sweater, and you'll survive.

It's one of the few books that's changed my life.

A magnificent introduction to an aesthetic sensibility I was always aware of, and appreciated, but didn't imagine had a name. Thanks to this small but finely-honed book I now understand the intellectual underpinnings of a profound way of looking at the world. Wabi-sabi--the name of this beauty/mindset--is the perfect antidote to my frenetic, digital life. I've given this book as a gift to friends and have received many heartfelt thanks.
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