Tranquil: Simplicity: The refined and elegant simplicity achieved by bringing out the natural colours, forms and textures inherent in materials such as wood, bamboo, clay and stone, as well as in artefacts crafted from them like earthenware, tile, handmade paper, and lacquer ware, and in textile fibres like hemp, cotton or silk – this is the core of wabi.
Wabi may describe beauty of materials. While eschewing decoration, contrivance, or showiness, wabi treads the fine and precarious line between beauty and shabbiness. To discover wabi, one must have an eye for the beautiful, yet it is not an aesthetic understood only by the Japanese of old, but a quality that can be recognised by anyone who is discriminating and sensitive to beauty.
Patina of Age: Beauty that treasures the passage of time is Sabi, echoing the original meaning of the word: rust or patina. Objects or constructions created from organic materials and used in daily life are, of course, beautiful when they are brand new. But Sabi describes the new and different phases of beauty that evolve in the course of their use and enjoyment, and the conviction that the aesthetic values of things is not diminished by time, but enhanced. The wear and tear of daily use, lovingly repaired and attended to, does not detract, but adds new beauty and aesthetic depth. Indeed, Sabi is at its ultimate when age and wear bring a new thing to the very threshold of its demise. Appreciation of Sabi confirms the natural cycle of organic life – that what is created from the earth finally returns to the earth and that nothing is ever complete. Sabi is true to the natural cycle of birth and rebirth.
“Wabi Sabi Suki: The Essence of Japanese Beauty”
by Itoh Teiji