Wabi-Sabi is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic. It 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.
Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity (roughness or irregularity), simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.
„Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It's simple, slow, and uncluttered-and it reveres authenticity above all. Wabi-sabi is flea markets, not warehouse stores; aged wood, not Pergo; rice paper, not glass. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind. It reminds us that we are all but transient beings on this planet-that our bodies as well as the material world around us are in the process of returning to the dust from which we came. Through wabi-sabi, we learn to embrace liver spots, rust, and frayed edges, and the march of time they represent. Wabi-sabi's roots lie in Zen Buddhism, which was brought from China to Japan by Eisai, a twelfth-century monk.” -architect Tadao Ando
"When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when somethin's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful." - Billie Mobayed
Paper wasp nest
Sheela are figurative carvings of naked women displaying an exaggerated vulva. They are architectural found on churches, castles and other buildings, particularly in Ireland and Great Britain.
By opening her vulva as wide as possible, this figure seems to show us where we come from and, perhaps, to invite us back into her womb once life comes to an end.
From left to right: 1. The Goddess Ishtar, Circa 3000 BC.; 2. Ftelia on Mykonos, Neolithic figurine; 3. Early Cycladic 2700-2300 BC.; 4. Goddess Figure Pakistan circa 2nd century BC.; 5. Venus Impudique (“immodest Venus”) c. 14,000 BC, from Laugerie-Basse, Vezerey in Dordogne); 6. Figurine, 800s BC Iran; 7. Cycladic figure, 3200-2000 BC., Greece.
The Goddess is the most potent and persistent feature in the archaeological records of the ancient world, a symbol of the unity of life in nature and the personification of all that was sacred and mysterious on earth.