This is a guest post by Pascal Ravach whose photos of weathered walls struck me when he sent them over for the Wabi-Sabi challenge. What I found fascinating was that much of what you will see below has been copied by contemporary artists but here, gets done autmatically by the weather or heavy usage or some other random act of wear and tear and repair. Pascal kindly agreed to send these photos, previously destined for an exhibition, so we could publish a post devoted to his pet project on walls. Thank you very much to him, I hope you all like the photographs as much as I did. All yours, Pascal R.
Before I start, please note : I have left part of the title in French, because it is very hard to render in English:. “The Creation of Time”, “The Work of Time”… whatever ;D
Well, here we go.
Being in the “shy” category, I never considered publishing my photos before DearSusan… but it is such a community of nice people, staff and readers, that I ran out of excuses… Rather, Pascal J’s proposal convinced me to simply share my passion with you.
In my teenage years, being already fascinated by the Japanese culture, I was called “an egg” once… white outside, yellow inside… oh well 🙂
Hence, the first time Pascal wrote the word “Wabi-Sabi” in DS, I jumped off my chair… in my case, opposite to what Pascal wrote, wabi-sabi is for me an intimate concept since more than 40 yeas (yes, I am that old :D).
But it was only in 2009, when a wall “touched” me deeply in Cuba, that I applied the concept in photography… better late than never 🙂
Decays create beautiful patterns…
Now… notice that, outside of Japan with their love and respect for old things, wealth and wabi-sabi don’t often sleep in the same bed; in many developed countries, affluent people break and build new…
Then it was in Asia (at large: South-East and India) that it became a permanent state of mind for me… I can’t count how many times locals (and tourists) looked at me like I was the stupidest person on Earth, missing the « real » spot 😀
More and more, my attention was grabbed by century-old walls, where poverty triggered people to renovate them with a cheap paint or whatever they could get; that poverty and negligence “created” all these layers, where Time became the Artist..
It can be, simply, a job done with very limited ressources… I am sure the people closing their garage never realized they created such a nice « modern art » patchwork 🙂
It can be, simply, painting worn by thousands of people sitting on this bench in a bus stop in Kuala Lumpur…
For Westerners, old cities offer that, as in Bruges, a famous Belgian place …
Of course, the concept does not have to be perceived only in buildings or landscapes… As Lad Sessions’s wonderful pictures show, an old car does the trick, as does this abandoned scooter in the middle of Vietnam.
How many lives!
It can also apply not to the surface, but to the structure itself, as in these ancient walls in Thailand…
I don’t see them as « ruins », but as fluid living curves…
Having seen John Wilson’s superb photo of a wall, full of interesting patterns, I guess there are many out there looking at these walls… after all maybe I am not alone in my obsession 🙂
Time to cope with airlines limitations again? Smaller toothbrush? Or… back to 2 bodies, 2 lenses as I did ages ago… must think 🙂
Currently in Saigon, Vietnam.
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