I'm back in the studio again, this time trying to gain a firmer grasp on what kind of work I want to make, and more so, what it means to me. Researching, I uncovered a Japanese concept called "Wabi-Sabi" that really intrigued me and appeared hold true to my visual approach and overall concept.
Wabi-sabi (侘寂) represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is "imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete". It is a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence (三法印 sanbōin), specifically impermanence (無常 mujō), the other two being suffering (苦 ku) and emptiness or absence of self-nature (空 kū).
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.
Maybe, my work is a direct reflection of my life, or more specifically, my late start in accomplishing my goals. I'm getting older. I'm definitely imperfect. The suffering associated to all the hard work when I'm more easily tired from a long day may be where these kinships are coming from. I feel like my work sometimes: aged, worn, but still worthy of being filled with life.
I also lost my father recently, and that specific loss may be behind my imagery of deconstructed, broken forms and my embracing of wabi-sabi that supports an acceptance of loss and death.
I'm calling this piece "the departing year", which is a line pulled from the final line of a haiku from Kobayaski Issa, a haiku master poet from the late 1700s.