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14-04-2005
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i stumbled upon this guide to japanese zen gardens and i think it applies to this stuff as well.

Guiding Thoughts in Japanese Aesthetics

Shizen (naturalness, absence of pretense) - Gardens (and arguably any aesthetic object) should be natural. Design with the intention of making your creation look as though it had grown that way by itself. If you have obviously man-made objects involved, do not try to disguise them. (ex. Cement mortar or brick looks better untouched than painted.) Choose simple objects which will fit in with the natural surroundings.

Odd Numbers - When placing elements in a composition, use odd numbers such as one, three, and five. This will better result in a sense of natural asymmetry.

The Triangle - Compositions such as groupings of stones, branches on a tree, etc. can be judged based on how easily one may draw an imaginary triangle between any three elements.

Fukinsei (asymmetry or dissymmetry) - Balanced symmetry, as humans devise it, does not exist often on nature. Therefore, it is better to make designs asymmetrical if one wishes to create an impression of naturalness.

Kanso (simplicity or brevity) - “Less is more” This idea is most evident in Zen gardens, where a single stone may encompass the idea of an entire mountain or island. Remove what is unnecessary, and the composition will be strengthened.

Yugen - Subtly profound, suggestion reather than revelation.

Datsuzoku - unworldliness, transcendence of conventional.

Seijaku - quiet, calm, silent.

Koko - (austerity, maturity, bare essentials, venerable, abstraction) - Water is a prime element of a garden, but raked gravel or carefully arranged flat river stones can create the impression of water.

Contrast - Contrast can be used to create tension between elements. Tension can create energy, motion and harmony.

Lines - Perpendicular lines create tranquillity. Diagonals create tension. Curves soften the effect.

Ma (space) - There is openness in everything and nothing exists alone. All objects interact with one another in space. In fact, the space of the garden only exists because there is a larger space outside of it. Where is the space in the composition? Why? How does the composition breathe?

Layers of time - Some parts of a composition change with the weather or the angle of the sun. Some change with the season. Others, like stone, hardly change at all for centuries. Yet time changes everything eventually. Good design considers this.

Meigakure - This is the quality of remaining hidden from ordinary view. All compositions have a best viewing angle. Find it or create it and control how the viewer approaches and is able to see the composition. For example, bonsai are, in essence, two-dimensional views designed to be viewed from the front only. Set your garden path so that only a single branch of the cherry tree can be seen around the corner and you guarantee the viewer will round that corner. Design the viewer’s experience, not just the garden. On the other hand, do not over-complicate.

Wabi and Sabi - Two of the hardest concepts of Japanese aesthetics to express in western language, generally they are wabi; “subdued taste”, “austere”, and sabi; “rustic simplicity”, “mellowed”. These terms were created by the Tea masters of the sixteenth century.

Shin, Gyo, So - Shin; controlled or shaped by man, So; things in their natural state, Gyo; the blending of Shin and So to compliment each other.

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15-04-2005
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thanks travolta
that reminds me - Rei said she likes it 5 or 7.

I don't know which jacket you are referring to, but there are some pieces on the site below.

http://www.tribecaisseymiyake.com

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15-04-2005
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Kanso (simplicity or brevity) - “Less is more” This idea is most evident in Zen gardens, where a single stone may encompass the idea of an entire mountain or island. Remove what is unnecessary, and the composition will be strengthened.

Runner is this the same a sthe Japanese art of 'su-i-seki'? I am not sure if I have spelled that correctly. I have a piece of su-iseki in my house - its a piece of limstone which looks like a mountain with a cherry wood base. I find this concept really interesting.

Thanks for this Travolta - I want to digest it further. Its fascinating isn't it?

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yes that piece you have is "sui-seki" or "bon-seki".
a stone in the garden is also called sui-seki.

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thankyou runner - its a beautiful idea - to bring little mini mountains into your house or garden. Rather like bonsai trees I suppose - minatures. There is also a threory about the contrast bewteen the stone and the base it sits on - based on opposites i think.... hard & soft, light & dark, rugged & smooth, even and uneven. I find this really interesting.

Do you like sui-seki runner?

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yes I like it helena.


just found a pic of very famous garden in Kyoto.



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15-04-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travolta
i stumbled upon this guide to japanese zen gardens and i think it applies to this stuff as well.
thanks for this info travolta. i'm facinated by the zen aesthetic and i'm always looking for ways to incorporate it into my own work. i'm familiar with the concepts of wabi sabi, kanso, odd numbers, and of course asymmetry, but some of the others are new to me...i've noticed the shizen principle in various artworks and gardens and this is something i greatly admire. also, yugen and ma are facinating! i have to find out more about this...thanks again for the info!

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15-04-2005
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Many thanks travolta for this. Very very interesting:-)

I think we have had a short Meigakure disscusion in JW Man SS05 thread:-)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by runner
yes I like it helena.


just found a pic of very famous garden in Kyoto.


ahhh runner thats a shame the pic didn't work. I would LOVE to go to Kyoto & see the beautiful gardens (in spring when the cherry blossom is on the trees).

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15-04-2005
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sorry helena

this is the image. (the trees were in full blossom last weekend)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg nanzenji12.jpg (30.7 KB, 27 views)

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welcome guys

runner, that is a beautiful picture...thanks for posting.

i first read up on zen gardens in college, although i didn't absorb it all back then...the brief was to design a dwelling for a bird, boring and difficult at first, but it forced us to look at nature as the best designer..very humbling.

the guidlines are the applicable for most art and design. especially shizen-emphasizing the process instead of disguising it, kanso-less is more, and layers of time-designing for sustainablity. ma is the most relevant concept i think in that is stresses an affinity for all things.

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15-04-2005
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oh boy...japanese lessons...very exciting!!...
going to have to do my homework and study hard...

i love this thread...thanks to everyone for all the great contributions...i'm learning so much here...yay!!...

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15-04-2005
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yeah, softgrey..this forum is beneficial..japanese aesthetics 101.

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26-04-2005
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tricot




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