Wednesday, September 15, 2010

C + Ss = EV

I have often though how wonderful it would be if there were formulas like in physics and mathematics, though less complex than Fermat’s, to appreciate and measure emotional occurrences in our lives. For instance, we own a simple 20th century Oribe candlestick, it doesn’t hold much monetary value, but the emotional impact is immeasurable. Think of a great Monet painting, a well used pottery bowl or a daughter’s finger painting, the value of these objects is beyond conventional value.

In a recent email exchange, a customer expressed the notion that; “the form is the function”. While I can partially relate to that concept, I believe that the function of an object can be purely the emotional value; the function of the object is beauty. I think that though many objects are certainly made to be used, their use does not strictly define their function. An object’s presence and appreciation can enrich a viewer, add to their environment and give back inspiration just by being. A chawan does not necessarily have to be used in chanoyu to be appreciated and enjoyed on a different level than through its use. Think of a great Faberge egg, is it a bookend, paperweight, doorstop? Its entire reason for being is in its appreciation and beauty.

I am in complete agreement with Yanagi’s statement; beauty born of use, but believe the use of an object can be the simple impact it has on one’s daily life.

(Illustrated a Kuro-Iga chawan by Kojima Kenji and an Iga chaire by Furutani Michio (1946-2000), both from a private collection)

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