“Wabi Sabi is a way of living that focuses on finding beauty within the imperfections of life and accepting peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay.”
In a world that is obsessed with perfection, with symmetry and with ideal proportions- the Japanese aesthetics is a true rebel. The core of this difference is encompassed in the ancient philosophy of Wabi- Sabi. It celebrates understated elegance left behind by cracks and crevices and all other marks induced by time and weather. It derives inspiration from all things broken, modest and slightly flawed.Essentially, the definition of Wabi drifted from representing the misery of life away from human interference to portraying an exquisite oneness with the natural surroundings. While Sabi denoted the withered marks that comes with age and wear and tear; it eventually shifted to depict a more positive outlook on life and the tranquility that comes with age instead. To understand this style one must attempt to understand this philosophy.
The zest of this style lies in the appreciation of the little crack on the bottom of your flower vase and the marks of repair on it rather than attempting to deliberately cover it up wholly. One can perceive it as natural simplicity or flawed beauty. A man-made or naturally occurring disturbance in design forming a perfect expression of beauty is what represents this style.
From a design point of view, it is often confused with minimal and rustic aesthetics. Wabi – Sabi is far beyond that. Keeping this in mind, White3 is an Architecture and Interior design firm in India that has done noteworthy work in this style. They lay emphasis on the elements of Wabi and explore the visual aspects of this age-old Japanese philosophy. Chimnabai Ashram in Alibaug is one such project done by them that encompasses the nuances of Wabi – Sabi, giving it the accurate representation it deserves. It is an ancestral property built from scratch whisked in perfect harmony with its surroundings. From the low dining seats to the fascinating use of logs, the Japanese influence is clearly visible in each corner of this 1500sft house. As the rawness in the furnishings and the walls slicked with carefree textures engage your senses, your attention will be diverted to the deceptively simple brilliance of a property that showcases the difficult yet beautiful philosophy of Wabi Sabi.