Andrew’s world in Japan

Andrew Artist & researcher based in KL since 2009, passionately exploring the creative process & andrewconnecting with other creative people.

Is there romance in simplicity?

Pause, take a moment, look up from Senyum to observe your surroundings. Above you is what? To your right is what? Do these hold distinct and special meanings? If so, what? If not, why not? Ah, it’s ok, that’s what we have an opportunity here for. A space to share and ponder on the process of experience. For those curios and interested, the detail that goes into architecture is recognizable as nothing short of monumental. Simply take a drive around the neighborhood of Portland’s Council Crest neighborhood and you will notice that roughly 1 in 3 houses have incorporated some graceful element of Japanese architectural design and gardening into their home. Lines, positions, space, simplicity captivates me every time. I love how you can come across a tiny 4′ x 4′ garden tucked away in a nondescript area of Tokyo that’s a pocket of simple beauty. The photos I’d like to refer you to here are from Nikkō, roughly 140 km north of Tokyo in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture. The capital of this area, the location holds a special place for the people there. They have taken the step to select that location, and steadily groom it. Like that closet or doorway in the house where you grew up, and your parents measure your height and noted it on the wall. Spaces like this hold special places in the heart of most Japanese. Power can be felt. It could be you even hear an ancient conversation fl oating on the air. It really matters not if their words don’t quite make sense to your ear, their strength can blanket your heart. Photos and words defi nitely pale in comparison to my fi rst hand experience to this and many spaces. For me, it is generally more about the journey, the experience with the people I am around. My friend Shota accompanied me on this encounter. Sharing with me tales of his hitch hiking journey around Japan. In doing that, passed me a fi ery torch to attempt to step out of my bounds and give way to the slow steadiness of chance. Setting sun, grounds keeping attendants politely letting people know visiting hours are over.


Somber shadows light my photos. “It’s Friday, I’m in love.” “On the one hand, beige and gray were highly prized colors, as they underscored the taste for the natural – the elegant simplicity of Sabi and the quietness and frugality of Wabi.” – Ayako Jindai Inspiration grows as I attempt to look for unique views, openings that create a frame. It’s a living work of art, constantly changing with the elements. Is this ‘mingei,’ the true nature of beauty?