THE SOUL OF JAPAN: Profound Tranquility or Modern Loneliness?”
(WABISABI SERIES N.4 – single copy)

Available on ASYNC ART


 

• VERY IMPORTANT:

THIS PIECE IS SOLD AS A SINGLE ARTWORK! This means that THE LAYERS ARE NOT FOR SALE but will be delivered FREE OF CHARGE TO THE PERSON WHO COLLECTS THE MASTER. I decided to do this because the artwork was created to be in the hands of one collector and I would like him/her to have the ability to trigger changes to his/her liking.


• EXTRA!!! A PHYSICAL PRINT:

The owner of this artwork will also be eligible to receive a Museum Quality Fine Art Giclèe Print (70×40 cm) done using carbon pigmented inks on Hahnemühle Archival Paper of the highest quality. This will be a 1of1 Fine Art Print and a collectors item (with holograms, signature, date, stamps and paper certificates) in line with my 10 years selling museum quality prints. The special feature here is that the collector will be able to select the 3 States he/she likes more (one for each layer) and I will get that selection printed and sent to him/her.
You can find more info about my Fine Art Prints process here:
https://www.tonycorocher.com/fine-art-prints/


• WANT TO TEST THE ARTWORK?

If you are interested in this NFT Digital Artwork, you can test and play around with the Master by triggering changes to the states of the Layers (3 Layers + 18 States = 216 possible combinations) on the interactive sample here below or by going to this link:
https://async-explorer.herokuapp.com/test/canvasID=5ffb29c147db6300192f515a

 


• ARTWORK DESCRIPTION:

I loved Japan and its culture since I can remember… its aesthetic principles of beauty, its sense of peace, the respect for others, its harmony and safety.

In this artwork I want to present and describe (through a series of 18 interchangeable street photographs I took around Japan in 2 years) a feeling of detachment and kind of “self inflicted” loneliness which may seem very strange to a non Japanese or someone traveling to this beautiful country for the first time. This feeling can be encountered all over the country but is felt more strongly in the big cities, especially in the streets of Tokyo.

A feeling that deeply entangles and mixes with a secular way of life, with a thought process and a value system based on respect, duty and obligation… all directed to achieve harmony and tranquility.
To most Japanese these are not just ideas to believe in, but almost “unmovable objects” that still linger in the further recesses of their “modern” minds.
These ideas may have changed their forms in the last century but they have also retained their influence and are frequently the main reason of misunderstanding with non Japanese people.

This NFT digital artwork is composed of 1 Master, 3 Layers and 18 states which can be triggered from the Layers to change the Master in 216 possible combinations. It is n.4 in the “WabiSabi” NFT Collection.


Purchase it on ASYNC ART


I spent nearly 3 months around Japan trying to understand a very profound and rooted Japanese philosophy and way of life that goes back many centuries… that of Wabi-Sabi. Wabi-Sabi is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic. It is the beauty of things that are imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is the beauty of things that are modest and humble. It is the beauty of things that are unconventional… of everyday things… man-made, natural and the union of the two.
The series was started in 2014-2015 and is still an ongoing project.


WHAT DOES WABI-SABI MEAN?

WABI: Beauty in simplicity.
Wabi is the austere beauty found in simple, even stark, things. The concept emerged as part of the tea ceremony in the 15th century. Over time it moved beyond physical objects like simple tea implements to merge with Zen and become a life philosophy based on rejecting anything showy or wasteful. Wabi can also be enjoyed in observing the changing seasons while reflecting on the impermanence of things.

SABI: Beauty in decay.
Sabi is the beauty of things that are old and in a state of decay. For example, one might see Sabi in the worn grain of the polished wood of the corridors in an old Japanese house; an old statue of the Buddha, the gold lacquer peeled off to reveal the bare wood beneath; or moss covered rocks in the garden.

Wabi-Sabi (侘寂?) represents a comprehensive Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. It is a concept derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence (三法印 sanbōin?), specifically impermanence (無常 mujō?), the other two being suffering (苦 ku?) and emptiness or absence of self-nature (空 kū?).

Characteristics of the Wabi-Sabi aesthetic include asperity (roughness or irregularity), simplicity, economy, austerity, modesty, intimacy, and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes.


LEFT LAYER – IMAGES DESCRIPTION:

• STATE 1: MONO NO AWARE. This image was taken in Yokohama during the cherry blossom (Sakura). Since the cherry blossom represents the beauty that goes away, I waited for a beautiful woman to pass by under the fallen petals using a slow shutter speed to give the idea of movement (the hair, the dress, the legs) and waited for her to get out of the frame like Beauty running away. Within my WabiSabi Photography Project, the title of this image is “Mono no Aware”: Pathos. Contemplating the Fleeting Beauty and elegance in action

• STATE 2: SHIZEN. Reflect on Yourself… The Dance of Man and God. This is one of my absolute favourite images in the WabiSabi series. Not just for what it communicates but especially because of the way it was composed. You can see that the main subject is the small man at the top left doing tai chi, but he is also balanced by secondary object, the large reflection of the Buddha at the bottom right. Also the part of the Buddha reflected is the one missing at the top, and, most important of all, the diagonal lines from the stone floor guide the viewer eyes from the secondary subject to the main one at the top. Within my WabiSabi Photography Project, the title of this image is “Shizen”: Naturalness. An absence of pretense or artificiality, full creative intent unforced.

• STATE 3: SETSU. The image was take in Osaka underground and it represents to me the kind of detachment which is sometimes almost forced and very typical in japanese culture. Within my WabiSabi Photography Project, the title of this image is “Setsu”: Transition. An important turning point in life.

• STATE 4: WABI. Most Japanese cities have beautiful parks where people go to meditate, relax and detach from daily life. This is very important in Japanese culture. Within my WabiSabi Photography Project, the title of this image is “Wabi”: Beauty in simplicity. Contemplating the austere beauty found in simple, even stark, things.

• STATE 5: SEIREN KEPPAKU. This image represents a simple but classic Japanese traditional marriage. Within my WabiSabi Photography Project, the title of this image is “Seiren Keppaku”: Integrity, honesty and purity. Seiren is the virtue of having a pure heart with no selfish, personal ambitions.

• STATE 6: UCHI TO SOTO. Another shot in Yokohama of classic city life. Within my WabiSabi Photography Project,the title of this image is “Uchi to Soto”: Inside and outside social relationships. Who to share your feeling with.


RIGHT LAYER – IMAGES DESCRIPTION:

• STATE 1: WA. This image was taken in Kyoto while walking around the streets under the rain and it shows the reflection of a man (I’m standing behind him) while he is watching some women work inside a messy shop. Lots going on in this image. Within my WabiSabi Photography Project, the title of this image is “Wa”: Harmony. The harmonious heart of the Japanese value system.

• STATE 2: YŪGEN. This image was taken in Kamakura near Yokohama where the famous big Kamakura Buddha is placed. I was not interested in just showing the Buddha, but wanted to combine the spirituality of the statue with daily life and put it all together using the reflection from the puddle. Within my WabiSabi Photography Project, the title of this image is “Yūgen”: Profound Tranquility. A profound, mysterious sense of the beauty of the universe… and the sad beauty of human suffering.

• STATE 3: TEIKAN. Here we are in sub city Osaka somewhere underground and I was stricken by the contrast of the older, tired woman almost taking a rest before going on with the image of the young, fit and full of confidence baseball player. Contrast is the main thing here. Within my WabiSabi Photography Project, the title of this image is “Teikan”: Acceptance or Resignation. The wisdom of understanding human limitations”.

• STATE 4: SATORI. In the middle of the super busy streets of Tokyo you can find monks that stay still and meditate while all the crazy life goes on around them… this was a perfect example of catching contrast with a photograph. Within my WabiSabi Photography Project, the title of this image is “Satori”: Enlightment. To attain Satori a person must get rid of all their desires and enmities at the source.

• STATE 5: MUJŌ. Within my WabiSabi Photography Project, the title of this image is “Mujō”: Impermanence, transience or mutability. Everything in life will change.

• STATE 6: FUKINSEI. Another shot in tokyo of simply city life. Within my WabiSabi Photography Project, the title of this image is “Fukinsei”: Asymmetry or irregularity. The idea of controlling balance in a composition via irregularity and asymmetry is a central tenet of the Zen aesthetic.


CENTRAL LAYER – IMAGES DESCRIPTION:

• STATE 1: YŌ I was playing with double exposure directly within the camera to create a ghostly effect of life inside a big shopping mall in Tokyo. This was one of the images that were produced. This was not done during the editing process. Within my WabiSabi Photography Project, the title of this image is “Yō”: Simplicity Beauty and death interconnected… an eerie, supernatural concept of beauty.

• STATE 2: KATA: This image represents one of the traditional elements of a Japanese marriage. The couple is taken around by a man with a chariot. Within my WabiSabi Photography Project, the title of this image is “Kata”: Form. Following ceremonies and etiquette correctly. Kata is in all aspects of Japanese life.

• STATE 3: YŌ (2) I was playing with double exposure directly within the camera to create a ghostly effect of life inside a big shopping mall in Tokyo. This was one of the images that were produced. This was not done during the editing process. Within my WabiSabi Photography Project, the title of this image is “Yō”: Simplicity Beauty and death interconnected… an eerie, supernatural concept of beauty.

• STATE 4: BONNō: A moment of street life in Tokyo. Within my WabiSabi Photography Project, the title of this image is “Bonnō”: Wordly Desires. In Buddhism there are 108 worldly desires such as the desire for wealth, sex and power.

• STATE 5: FUKINSEI: A moment of street life in Tokyo. Within my WabiSabi Photography Project, the title of this image is “Fukinsei”: Asymmetry or irregularity.

• STATE 6: SEIJAKU. Another shot in tokyo of business men going to work. Within my WabiSabi Photography Project, the title of this image is “Seijaku”: Tranquility or an energized calm, stillness, solitude. Finding tranquility in the midst of activity.


HERE ALL THE 216 POSSIBLE COMBINATIONS