I absolutely loved this lecture. I found it incredibly inspiring and I left it wanting to draw and think and learn more about it and so much else.
Unfortunately, I missed the Lunchtime Lecture last year on Wabi-Sabi, which I was very disappointed about because I love Japanese art and design.
At this lecture, however, it wasn't really an interest in the topic that drew me in, it was a more emotional connection. Wabi, Sabi, and Yugen made complete sense to me, and it felt somehow completely natural. I think without knowing it, I had almost adopted similar ideas of Aesthetics as the Japanese seem to have, and this presentation showed me how similar they really were.
I also really resonated with Tanizaki's ideas and writing. I was extremely impressed with his capability to convey emotion and aesthetic interest through writing in a completely unique and new (to me at least) way. His essay seems much more powerful BECAUSE it is not a 'traditional essay' in the modern sense of the word. To me, the simple phrase "in praise of shadows" is the perfect summation of everything he says, describing elegance, beauty, simplicity, and tradition. His stress on shadows and darkness, as well as imperfection in the mechanized age felt instinctive and innate, and as soon as I looked at the images Amanda Adams showed, I understood.
The one frustration I had was with defining Wabi, Sabi, and Yugen. These ideas are so ethereal and almost tempestuous in nature that they resist definition. Maybe in the Japanese language, these words have clearer meaning to the speakers, but in English, perhaps the less elegant language, they simply do not convey enough meaning and weight to be able to say that they do the ideas they represent justice.
Wabi, Sabi, and Yugen are complicated concepts, but they feel native and natural and perfectly right.
I found this video about Kintsugi, which is the repairing of damages that took on artistic value in Japanese art.