New Definition of Japanese Aesthetics, wabisabi

by Hiroki Yanagisawa on September 27, 2011 11:11 PM

Wabisabi with New Interpretation

According to Wikipedia, an aesthetic term, "wabi-sabi", is defined 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 specifically impermanence, the other two being suffering and emptiness or absence of self-nature."

Surely, it sounds so much like a typical representation of Japanese aesthetics.

Today, let EDGY JAPAN introduce you a new definition of this term.

wabisabi, a Sapporo-based art/design unit, pushed its envelope of the definition, creating art/design pieces that signify "Japan now" -- everything is so dynamic and versatile.

"For me, all the great influences -- whether it is fashion or coolness or design -- came from music." Ryohei "wabi" Kudo, one of the founders of wabisabi said.

This music root --so called a source of dynamism in their creations-- is surely taken into an account of their creations. This dynamism of wabisabi is perfected with obsession of details. Kazushi "sabi" Nakanishi, the other half of the founder, is a man of detail -- conducting an extensive research on each object that the duo is going to tackle with.

With this background of wabisabi on your mind, let's explore their world of creations.

Samurai Poster Work

Each guitar, expressed on a drawing, is based on the possession of famous professional Japanese guitarists, Char, Tamio Okuda, and Masayoshi Yamazaki. The fluidic lines, which consist the drawing, seem to be "audible" when you put your ear right next the drawing.

"We actually visited a dressing room of each guitarist, and made measurements of each guitar comprehensively -- this is literally everything. From the length of neck to pickup, width of each string, etc. If you are to make measurements with a printed image, the proportion of the guitar will be inaccurate because of the lens of a camera is convex."

Kazushi "sabi" Nakanishi said.

This fluidic-line-and-detail-technique is also utilized on another poster. This piece was created for Nike -- with a conjunction of Beijing Olympic in 2008.

Nike Advertisement Champaign

An advertisement work for AIR DO, Hokkaido-based airline company, also illustrates wabisabi's dynamism and meticulousness.

AIR DO Advertisement Champaign DO MUSIC! AIR DO'04

During the summer season, Hokkaido attracts many music festivals, and hence, many youngsters. In order to brand AIR DO to such audience, Wabisabi's creative solution was to mock a plane into a guitar -- Flying V. (Also known as a signature model of Michael Schenker.)

The other piece, AIR DO with a speaker set, is an art of wabisabi.

AIR DO Advertisement Champaign DO MUSIC! AIR DO'05

"Since AIR DO utilizes the maximum flying time out of its operation, we were only given 30 minutes to get the shoot done. Though we brought all the equipments in, we simply measured the size ratio of the plane and equipments, and utilized CG-works to put these two together."

Ryohei "wabi" said. Such meticulous work can't be achieved without an extensive background of the detail.

The other renowned work by Wabisabi includes, hormone type face. Pretty rocking.

Hormon Font

This typeface led to a collaboration with Hello Kitty. The work was exhibited in Hong Kong.

Hormon Kitty & Stones

Hormon Font collaboration with Hello Kitty

"wabisabi's creations are all emerged from non-client work. In another words,they are all the product of our fun activities. But sometimes, clients see these fun-oriented creations and employ them as a client-led project. In order to maintain these freshness and edginess, I think maintaing the idea of "work is fun and fun is work" is important in our creation."

Ryohei "wabi" said.

wabisabi Portrait
Left: Ryohei "wabi" Kudo / Right: Kazushi "sabi" Nakanishi

wabisabi Official website: http://www.deza-in.jp/wabisabi.html

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