Wabi-sabi is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic. It is the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is the beauty of things modest and humble. It is the beauty of things unconventional.
The Japanese concept of emptiness is rooted in the ancient Shinto belief that a void attracts kami or gods, and locates beauty in an object’s imperfection, impermanence, or incompletion.
In the summer of 2012, I spent a month in Japan as part of the Summer Study Abroad program in hopes to discover, define, and document examples of traditional Japanese concepts.
I documented my experiences in Japan through photography. The challenge in this project was processing the cultural and visual mental overload of my experience and visually articulating an abstract concept.
Hand making books is a traditional Japanese art that has been passed down for hundreds of years. "Sempuyo" is a Japanese book with accordion-style pages. The word "sempuyo" literally means "flutter" or "butterfly," evoking the stunning effect the pages have when flipped. I created a sempuyo of images collected and converted some into fabrics to use as traditional gift wrapping - furoshiki.