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...
In this book, historian and author Leonard Koren introduces this Eastern philosophy to Western readers.His easy to understand, approachable writing style is paired with his unconventionally beautiful black and white photographs throughout, which help illustrate the aesthetic. Koren provides context, compares& contrasts Wasbi-Sabi to Modernist ideals, and tackles through the wabi-sabi lens such questions as:
What is the universe like?
What are the lessons of the universe?
How do we feel about what we know?
Knowing what we know, how should we act?
What objects/motifs/juxtapositions express understanding of the universe, or create that understanding in others?
Leonard Koren was trained as an architect but never built anything - except an eccentric Japanese tea house - because he found large, permanent objects too philosophically vexing to design. Instead he created WET: the Magazine of Gourmet Bathing, one of the premier avant-garde magazines of the 1970's. Since then Koren has produced books about design (Arranging Things: A Rhetoric of Object Placement) and aesthetics (Which "Aesthetics" Do You Mean: Ten Definitions).