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Love to Hate You, Tokyo
When I was younger, I dreamt of visiting Japan to see the cherry blossoms blooming. I learned about Japanese art history. I loved the aesthetic concepts of "wabi-sabi" and "mono no aware", which related art to the concept of imperfection and impermanence of life. Wabi-sabi referred to the beauty found in imperfections.
For example, a porcelain vase that had been smashed to pieces then glazed back together with a gold glaze would be considered much more beautiful than the original vase before it had been broken. It's the uniqueness found in the lines of gold glaze that traced the broken parts of the porcelain that made it special. The story that begged to be told behind the brokenness indicated by the gilded lines made the vase more mysterious and full of life. It elevated the vase to the status of "art".
Mono no aware referred to the beauty of things that don't last forever, recognizing that all of life is impermanent. It's the heightened sensitivity that one feels for the beauty of the cherry blossoms because one knows that the bloom only lasts for a short time. It made sensitive people reflect on their own mortality and purpose in the world. This mixture of joy and sadness created a ... more

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