Soetsu Yanagi in The Unknown Craftsman refers to shibui as "beauty with inner implications. It is not a beauty displayed before the viewer by its creator; creation here means making a piece that will lead the viewer to draw beauty out of it for oneself. Shibui...is beauty that makes an artist of the viewer."

In James Michener’s book Iberia, the adjective 'shibui' is referenced as follows: "The Japanese have a word which summarizes all the best in Japanese life, yet it has no explanation and cannot be translated. It is the word shibui, and the best approximation to its meaning is 'acerbic good taste.'"

While shibui often refers to understated simplicity, the art contained herein is not about simplicity, but rather art that acknowledges the imperfect in life, another cornerstone of the shibui concept, where beauty unfolds in imperfection and ambiguity. The emphasis is on the viewer as artist and the interactivity and immersion of the unique ‘self’ that any viewer brings to art.

These works demand much of the viewer, coaxing the viewer into energizing and stimulating interiors, where the viewer interacts with color, form and shape in unique, individualized ways. Just as one experiences a poem – or life itself – from one’s own history and perspective, the viewer interacts with this art to create their own story and images.

While one viewer may see fish, another sees birds and another experiences simply living, growing forms bursting towards life – all metaphors that spring from the ambiguity and stimulation provided by the art. Chaos, beauty, ambiguity, energy and imperfection all coexist to create the viewer’s own story and provide a personal interpretation and timeless reinterpretation of the images captured within. The viewer will not grow tire of this art.

To purchase any of the works, please e-mail the artist, Trudi Drake, here