Asymmetry in Japanese Art

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Information about Asymmetry in Japanese Art

Published on August 6, 2008

Author: praeness


Asymmetry in Japanese Art

hacho Asymmetrical balance is one of the distinctive factors found in Japanese art. It’s sometimes known as hacho, that is, intentional unevenness, and Japanese culture has a penchant for this aesthetic.

Ikenobo is the oldest school of ikebana, founded by Buddhist priest Ikenobo Senkei in the 15th century. He is thought to have created the rikka (standing flowers) style. This style was developed as a Buddhist expression of the beauty of nature, with seven branches representing hills, waterfalls, valleys Ikebana

In this art are preferred the buds instead of full-blown flowers, the winding stems in stead of right ones, asymmetry for symmetry, quality for quantity of flowers. Ikebana

mid 17C Japanese aesthetic qualities of ma (emptiness and space) and kabuku (asymmetry and the unusual)‏

Palace of Versailles 1682, Paris

Japanese Garden

Kimono pattern

perhaps the goal is “to depict the moment of flow (motion)” and to show the moment of nature subjectively. Kimono pattern












ASYMMETRICAL BALANCE = informal balance sense of balance can be either Symmetry or Asymmetry Symmetry - equal - uniform Asymmetry - variety - Careful adjustments in size, shape, color and placement of the elements in the format - lack of a formula = greater freedom = more creative compositions




Centers -- do not put anything in the center of the format or any other object. Corners - do not put any object exactly in the corner of the format or any other object. Alignment - Do not line up two or more objects on their center axes.

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