The show is inspired by the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi and brings together the work of 11 contemporary and post-war artists in exploration of this theme: Wolfgang Buttress, Dante Elsner, Jasmine Garrett, Howard Hodgkin, Soojin Kang, Kazuyo Kinoshita, Kate Linforth, Christine Marchese, Rory Menage, Norio Imai & Nina Royle as well as antique Hutu basketry.
The quiet constant of what the Japanese have for centuries referred to as wabi-sabi is beginning to gain traction in the West. Wabi-sabi has its roots in the Buddhist pursuit of simplicity and restraint, fostered through a deep connection with the natural world. In the 15th century it evolved into a distinctly Japanese ideal as a reaction against the dominant aesthetic of lavishness, ornamentation and rich materiality. Today it provides a welcome antidote to our contemporary world of impersonal digitalization, hard edged mass production and frenetic pace.
Wabi-sabi by its very nature defies easy definability. It finds its expression in natural materials, organic processes, earthiness, irregularity, the unpretentious and the unassuming. It is about the subtle, the ephemeral and the evanescent. It bears testament to nature in its perpetual state of flux. Wabi-sabi prizes perception over reason. To observe it, and come to appreciate it, it demands we slow down and allow its muted, unconventional beauty to permeate us.
The works in this show have been chosen to reflect the core tenets of this mysterious and elusive aesthetic ideal.