The Beauty of Imperfection

November 08, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

This post is a little different from what we usually post here. It is about Wabi-Sabi, an ancient Japanese philosophy which is derived from Zen Buddhism.

Wabi-Sabi is the philosophy of embracing imperfections, transient elements, and things which are incomplete. Instead of shunning them as unwanted objects, they are celebrated as truly reflecting nature and the passage of life. We are used to a world of mass production where objects are an exact perfect replica of each other, something which cannot be further away from that which is natural. No wonder so many people feel detached and isolated from the rest of the world, as it does not resemble anything that we know.

I find myself being naturally attracted to objects which are not refined to a factory finish. This probably explains my love and interest in things which are hand-made. It’s not just me, a lot of people nowadays are interested in buying items from flea markets or vintage items.

Imperfection is who we are, so it is natural that we surround ourselves with it. It is a sort of acceptance ritual, that your surroundings should reflect yourself. There is something incredibly honest found in Wabi-Sabi aesthetics, which reflects our own flaws and mirrors ourselves. It emulates nature in a manner while reminding us of our transient nature, becoming completely authentic.

Such beauty appreciated in imperfection is a direct contrast to the classical Western aesthetics which are perceived as perfect. It celebrates cracks and blemishes, rather than rendering something useless because of them. There is a certain freedom associated with the idea of abandoning the idea of perfection, to one which deliberately embraces the opposite of it. The world is flawed and imperfect, and I do not mind it reflected in the objects I own.



Additional reading here and here.




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