Japanese design and architecture through the lens of Zen minimalism
Design and architecture touches everyone’s life, reflecting our collective relationship with nature. Primitive design often replicated natural objects, but sleek, futuristic modern design suggests new potential of artificial world detached from it. In Japan, people lived yielding to nature, respecting and accommodating its overwhelming, unpredictable force. They honored nature’s realm and appreciated decent share of its blessings. Such wisdom resonated with the Buddhism concept of “kuu,” which has been elevated into various form of Zen minimalist art and design such as Zen rock garden, which let beauty emerge from least number of elements. Appreciation of natural cycle and balance still plays critical role in modern Japanese design and architecture.
The exhibit Tadao Ando: Endeavors featured the replica of the “Church of the Light,” as well as the installation of the Naoshima Project. Read more
The MOMAT Exibition "The Japanese House"
Kenzo Tange, Toyo Ito, Sou Fujimoto…discover modern Japanese architecture through the exhibition “The Japanese House.” Read more
Katsura Rikyu (Imperial Villa) is carefully designed to dissolve into the surrounding environment. Discover its aesthetics of “less”. Read more
“My neighbor Totoro,” created by Hayao Miyazaki and the Studio Ghibli, is a stunning reminder how people used to relate with nature, only a couple of decades ago. It is utterly inspiring. Read more
Seiji Ozawa, a globally renowned Japanese conductor, explains the role “ma” (temporal or spacial voids) plays in music. A conversation with Haruki Murakami. Read more
You need to know about “kuu” in order to understand the essence of Zen minimalism. Meaning “emptiness”, “void” or “sky,” kuu has been the central tenets of Buddhism including Zen that teaches us that everything on Earth is relative, in flux, temporary and will eventually disappear. And that’s where we can find enormous beauty and potential. Read more
Buddhism and Zen has come long way to crystallize the notion of “kuu.” Along the way, prominent priests experienced profound enlightenment, which was elevated into various forms of art. They are still powerful today to inspire us to seek true, sustainable happiness. Read more