Wabi refers to a philosophical construct, perhaps best described as a feeling of space, a direction, or path, while sabi is an aesthetic construct rooted in a particular object and its features, and includes the occupation of time, chronology, and objectivity .
Wabi describes the feeling of things that are fresh and simple. It denotes simplicity and silence, which has its own rustic charm. It includes both what is done by nature, and that is man-made.
Wabi can also mean an accidental or chance element, which gives elegance and uniqueness to the whole, like the pattern made by flowing a glaze or popped in a piece of pottery.
Sabi refers to items whose beauty stems from age, the patina of age found in old weathered bark or stones, for example.
Changes that occur in an object through the use also make the object more beautiful and valuable. This includes the recovery of the cycles of life and repair the damage of artistic care.
Wabi-Sabi occupies approximately the same position in the Japanese pantheon of aesthetic values as Greek ideals of beauty and perfection in the West. Imperfection is artistically and aesthetically valuable bonsai. This does not mean the bonsai artist can be sloppy. Imperfection must be controlled by the artist, then the expression is natural, should not express laziness.
In Shohin-bonsai, this means that some branches may be a bit messy in order to achieve a sense of imperfection. The branch structure arranged like the spokes of a wheel is not wabi-sabi and should be avoided. This is also the If the arrangement of the roots. The few roots crossing are much better than the roots straight “very well” arranged.
Loneliness and desolation are also components of wabi-sabi. The vision of the universe Zen sees these positive characteristics, representing the release of the material world and transcendence to a simpler life. Philosophy Zen warns that genuine understanding can never be achieved through words or language, then the non-verbal approach Wabi-sabi is the most appropriate.
Wabi-sabi can also be called the intuitive appreciation of transient beauty in the physical world. This beauty is reflected in the irreversible flow of life in the spiritual world. There is a melancholy beauty that exists in an item modest, rustic, imperfect, or even that decadent communicates the impermanence of all things. This beauty is what I personally like about Japanese bonsai, and I try to implement this approach in my mind of western bonsai.