The Essence of Imperfection: Wabi Sabi at Ippodo Gallery


Wabi Sabi

Shoko Aono

The call of the evening cicada that signals the approach of autumn, a lonely plain of eulalia grass, a moss-covered rock, a simple teahouse…

The Japanese philosophy of wabi and sabi derives from a close affinity with nature and an abiding love for the changes created by the passage of time.  

Beauty does not necessarily mean perfection. 

It can be distorted or unsteady, leaving the room for people’s mind to tap into.

Things that perish, that look lonely and sad, quietly decaying. 

It may seem the antithesis of magnificence, but it is a true repletion, a plenitude.

What we present here is wabi & sabi, the truth of the paradoxical beauty treasured by Japanese people.


Press release

Ippodo Gallery is pleased to present a selection of works by nine artists, in conjunction with the exhibition, A Teahouse for Philadelphia, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA). Ippodo artists, Jihei Murase, Tohru Matsuzaki, Suikei Saito, and Kenji Wakasugi, will be on view through July 30, 2018, so Ippodo welcomes the chance to run these artists in a concurrent showcase at our New York gallery, with additional works on view by five artists -- Keiji Ito, Akio Niisato, Shiro Tsujimura, Koji Hatakeyama, and Kyokko Kaida.


The exhibition centers around Wabi Sabi, a cultural tradition rooted in the beauty of imperfection and impermanence. Authenticity in this careful carelessness knows no translation, but is a celebration of all things natural and unadorned. It is a meditative aesthetic, and one greatly esteemed in Japanese culture.


Each artist has an individual ability to express this Wabi Sabi ideal.


Installation Views