Full of Books

Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers by Leonard Koren Review

Title: Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers

Author: Leonard Koren

First published January 1, 1994

96 pages, Paperback

ISBN: 9780981484600 (ISBN10: 0981484603)

Rating: 4.01


Discover the profound beauty of imperfection with Leonard Koren’s Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers. This updated edition of the classic volume explores the allure of the imperfect, the impermanent, and the incomplete.

Through insightful essays and inspiring illustrations, Koren invites you to embrace the essence of wabi-sabi – a Japanese philosophy that celebrates the simplicity and authenticity of the natural world. Whether you’re an artist, designer, poet, or philosopher, this book will awaken your senses and inspire you to see the world in a new light.

Editoral Review

“Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers” is a book that explores the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi, which refers to the beauty of imperfection, transience, and simplicity. The author, Leonard Koren, is a writer, artist, and designer who has studied and practiced wabi-sabi for decades.

First published in 1994, the book has become a classic in its genre, inspiring artists, designers, and creatives around the world.

The book begins with an introduction to the concept of wabi-sabi, explaining its origins and meanings, and how it has influenced Japanese culture and aesthetics for centuries. Koren then explores how wabi-sabi can be applied to various fields, such as art, design, architecture, poetry, and philosophy.

He provides examples of how wabi-sabi can be expressed through different materials, textures, colors, shapes, and forms, and how it can enhance the beauty and meaning of objects and spaces.

The book is divided into short chapters, each focusing on a specific aspect of wabi-sabi, such as simplicity, asymmetry, naturalness, and emptiness. Koren uses poetic language and vivid imagery to convey the essence of each aspect, and he includes photographs and illustrations to illustrate his points.

The book is also interspersed with quotes from famous artists, designers, and writers who have been influenced by wabi-sabi, such as Isamu Noguchi, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Basho.

One of the strengths of the book is its ability to convey complex ideas in a simple and accessible way. Koren’s writing is clear and concise, and he avoids using technical jargon or academic language.

Instead, he uses everyday examples and anecdotes to illustrate his points, making the book relatable and engaging.

Another strength of the book is its relevance and timeliness. Although it was first published over 25 years ago, the book’s message is still relevant today, perhaps even more so.

In a world that values perfection, speed, and efficiency, wabi-sabi offers a refreshing perspective on what is truly valuable and meaningful in life. The book encourages readers to embrace the imperfections and uncertainties of life, and to find beauty in the ordinary and mundane.

One limitation of the book, however, is its narrow focus on Japanese culture and aesthetics. While wabi-sabi has influenced many aspects of Japanese life, it is not the only cultural or aesthetic tradition that values imperfection and simplicity.

The book could benefit from a broader perspective that includes other cultural and historical contexts.

Overall, “Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers” is a beautifully crafted and thought-provoking book that offers a unique perspective on beauty and meaning. It is highly recommended for anyone who is interested in art, design, philosophy, or spirituality, and who wants to cultivate a deeper appreciation for the beauty of imperfection.

Rating: 4.5/5