Amanda Dalla Villa Adams' lecture on Japanese Aesthetics was filled with intriguing insight into the origin, purpose, and implementation of Japanese Aesthetics. Much of the factual information given was previously covered in my global history or art class but she broadened my foundation with new concepts. She explained the simplicity and irregularity of wabi with the mystery and melancholy of sabi and applied them to aspects of Japanese life such as tea ceremonies and shrines. I was particularly drawn to the presented picture of the Grand Shrine of Ise and went on the discover other breathtakingly austere gates and shrines.
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Adam's focused much of her time discussing the Japanese writer, Tunizaki, and his book, In Praise of Shadows which highlights his adoration for the traditional Japanese customs. Among modernization and westernization, Tunizaki mourns the fossilization of tradition. Personally, I believe we should not condemn the progression of society as Tunizaki does, but instead allow both past and present to coexist in a balance. In any case, Tunizaki has the ability to vividly explain even the most mundane topics. As he describes the darkness of the interior of a lacquerware bowl combined with its soft exterior I feel as if i could hold it in my hands. This led me to wonder more about the process of lacquerware. You can learn about it as I did through the video below.
The simplicity of Japanese aesthetics resonates with me. I am captivated by the bold lines and flat figures. I already employ this attribute in many of much of my art. However, I often find myself caught up in slight irregularities, unable to put my pen down until the piece is "perfect." In the future, perhaps I will step away from the page and observe from a wider perspective. I will allow imperfections and in turn the drawing will have more interest and not appear overworked.
I am a Maggie Walker art student in Richmond, Virginia. This blog section is a little window into my art process, research, and experiences. You can follow along with my journey as you scroll.