On Wednesday, we had a lunchtime lecture with Amanda Dalla Villa Adams of the VMFA. Adams spoke about Japanese Aesthetics. It was really interesting to hear a deeper explanation of the Japanese aesthetics than what we have done in art class. She was very knowledgable! In relation to a question asked in my sketchbook earlier about if Western art is inherently different than Eastern art both now and in the past, I can now see how the Eastern and Western aesthetics vary. It was also good to have a refresher on what the cross-cultural exchange between the US, or rest of the West, and Japan. I particularly enjoyed seeing the Mary Cassatt piece which was so obviously inspired by the Japanese aesthetic.
Mostly, all I knew about going into the lecture was about the Wabi Sabi aesthetic and the Kintsugi bowls (as seen below.) I had not previously known that the Wabi and the Sabi could be broken down into two separate ideas. I learned that the Wabi particularly refers to things such as simplicity, imperfection, irregularity, and starkness. The Sabi refers to “mono no aware.” The Wabi aesthetic and principle is something which I think I really need to bring into my work. I am sometimes too focused on the art needing to be perfect, and do not lean into the process or allow for mistakes that turn into something cool.