Monday, July 13, 2009


The recurring themes in the principles of Japanese aestheticism are thronged with an assumed disposition of a spiritual sensitivity to observe the most temporal and fleeting moments of everyday life. A person who practices a puristic sense of aestheticism in a classical Japanese understanding can appreciate and find as much beauty in the twisted flight of a loose leaf in the wind as they could perusing any other piece of institutionalized beauty.

One such concept embedded in this appreciation is called Furyu. Furyu literally translates as "Flowing Wind" Its understanding is one of a tangible and intangible capability to appreciate beauty in the most palpable and ephemeral sense. Any moment set out of context in the sustainment of life that brings a sudden transcendence of the mundane is Furyu, but just as quickly as it came, it slips away from any ultimate understanding or conceptualization and leaves the practitioner in a state of inexpressibility.

This concept and practice leaves itself to question the assumed nature of our own capacity to factually represent any thought, feeling, emotion, story, or thing with the belief it is something that could be labeled "Real"; understanding that reality comes from accountable firsthand experience. How can it be possible to render these moments of allure with an honest approach if we are incapable of fully knowing the moment in the initial state? Perhaps the question is mute, "art" does not need to be made with this mentality or be the driving force of the need to create, nor does it necessarily need to be labeled "Art". I simply question this realization because of the problematic nature that these moments cause being masked by supreme splendor and our illusionary addiction to "know".

Moments of Furyu could leave the practitioner in a state of self reflection and contemplation, but just as these things develop within the self, they are altered by their gradual advance towards dissolution.

Furyu denotes Furyu and ultimately its understanding slips away from us and becomes as evanescently beautiful as the wind whipped wheat stalk, the ebb of a beach tide, or the rolling of the clouds.