News from Kazari + Ziguzagu
UPDATED April 2019
Our Montague Street Warehouse is now open to the public!
After 40 years of retail in Cremorne, we have finally closed our doors on our Hill St Warehouse.
Come and visit us at 157-163 Montague St , South Melbourne, 3250, near the corner of City Rd.
Our warehouse opening hours are:
Monday & Tuesday: By appointment only
Wednesday - Friday: 10 - 4pm
Saturday: 10 - 5pm
Sunday 12 - 4pm
Outside opening hours by appointment.
To ensure you are kept up to date with our official opening, special offers and for further information, please sign up to our newsletter.
“The world breaks everyone, then some become strong at the broken places.”- Ernest Hemingway
The famous American writer’s quote could very easily be seen as a metaphor for the age-old Japanese art of kintsugi, in which golden or other precious
metallic joinery is used to repair and in the process, transform, broken pottery. The material used is essentially lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered
gold, silver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-e technique.
In our western modern world, bound by consumerism, waste and attachment to unrealistic ideals of beauty, the concept of kintsugi has much to teach us. If you would like to know more about kintsugi at Kazari + Ziguzagu we would be more than happy to assist you. We also offer a kintsugi service to bring new life and a beautiful new layer of meaning to objects in need of repair and restoration.
Scarlet Opus, a highly regarded global design trend forecaster, have given a macro trend forecast around the concept of imperfect beauty, releasing a blog
post How to Embrace the Wabi Sabi Design Concept in March this year. This trending topic is also gaining attention in Australian design circles, with the much anticipated recent release of the
Dulux Colour Forecast 2019. Now is the perfect time to revisit the concept of Wabi-Sabi; its Japanese aesthetic tradition and its place in contemporary
Wabi sabi meaning
The Wabi-Sabi meaning, simply translates from the Japanese:
Wabi - ‘tranquil simplicity/elegance in poverty’
Sabi - ‘patina of age’
Suki - ‘subtle elegance’
This meaning is explored in more depth in a previous post on Wabi Sabi Suki. The concept of wabi sabi is about beauty in everyday things - originating from Japanese aesthetic ideas of transience, imperfection, simplicity, fragility and incompleteness. Kintsugi, the practice of repairing broken ceramics and pottery with gold is an example of a wabi sabi design principle. The item is considered more beautiful and is more highly valued because of its flaws and individuality.
"If an object or expression can bring about, within us, a sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing, then that object could be said to be wabi-sabi."
- Andrew Juniper1
Where and when it originated
Wabi sabi ideology came from Zen Buddhism, which was introduced to Japan from China in 1191 by Aisay, a monk who returned to Japan intending to build a Zen Temple. The words wabi and sabi originally had negative meanings of loneliness or poverty and decrepit old age but evolved into a bittersweet aesthetic philosophy that has shaped Japanese design for hundreds of years, and is still influential today.
The influence of wabi sabi can be seen in various forms of Japanese artistic expression. Sen no Rikyu (1522-1591)2 is believed to have transformed tea ceremony into what it’s known as today -
a humble ritual of preparing a bowl of tea from one’s heart with an intense awareness of their surroundings, and a deep appreciation for natural form
and simple beauty. Ideas of wabi sabi led to the haiku poem being created by Matsuo Bashō in the Edo region in 1684. Haikus have been embraced and
adapted into Western poetry and culture - their short, simple celebrations of transient beauty have universal appeal.
Wabi sabi’s growing popularity in the West
"Wabi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect."
- Richard Powell3
Recently, the concept of wabi sabi has been brought to the forefront of Western design consciousness, featuring on popular television shows like The Block. Wabi sabi challenges beauty in its traditional forms by celebrating imperfection. It is this aspect of nurturing the authentic self that holds modern appeal for the contemporary design space: allowing a uniquely personal expression of form and function.
Wabi sabi: a way to view beauty and the world
Western ideals of beauty depict perfection, strength and youthful invincibility. Instead of viewing beauty as something fixed and unchanging, wabi sabi teaches that beauty is relative, and therefore open to change through the passage of time.
Why Shop Antique?
What better way to celebrate the concept of transience than owning a piece of furniture that has a rich patina of history? Antique stores like Kazari + Ziguzagu stock quality pieces, lovingly restored, that have stood the test of time. By choosing to buy antiques, we reduce our environmental impact and guarantee a unique object, enhanced and improved with age.
Wabi sabi styling in modern spaces
The minimalist style that is so popular right now entwines perfectly with the Japanese ideal of beauty in simplicity. Most Japanese furniture and decor pieces derive their essence from simplicity and can be styled to look completely at home in a contemporary space. Appreciating the beauty of our everyday life promotes peace and tranquility, no matter the culture or setting.
1Juniper, Andrew (2003). Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence . Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 0-8048-3482-2.
2Maxwell, Catherine. Wabi Sabi: The Essentials of Japanese aesthetics . Hitokuchi Memo. Omusubi vol. 16. The Japan Foundation. ISSN 1832-0341.
3Powell, Richard R. (2004). Wabi Sabi Simple . Adams Media. ISBN 1-59337-178-0.
Kazari Warehouse Closing Down Sale:
We recently sold our warehouse in Hill St, Cremorne. It has been our storeroom, restoration workshop and showroom for more than 30 years. Loved by many, while overwhelming others, it is a veritable Aladdin's Cave of eclectic items.
A bumper re-location sale is about to be announced as we will be vacating in the next few months – many items are already on sale, including furniture, textiles and ceramics, and others will be added over the coming weeks.
Sign up for the mailing list (by entering your details at the foot of the page on our website) to receive all notifications – re – bumper Closing Sale and our new home!
The Design Co-Op, at Melbourne Design Week 2018, was an opportunity to showcase how well Japanese antiques can work in contemporary spaces.
About The Design Co-Op + Melbourne Design Week
Antiques in contemporary spaces
Kazari + Ziguzagu featured as part of the showcase collaboration at The Design Co-Op, with a range of pieces on show. These antiques were a perfect match for the focus on creating the feeling of ‘home’ using high quality design pieces. The way the spaces were pulled together highlighted how Asian antiques can be incorporated into contemporary spaces as an accent, without being confined to a themed space. You don’t have to have an entire Japanese-style home to see the benefit of antique Japanese pieces: they can complement any style, and will look incredibly contemporary when combined with new design styles.
There are three main reasons to incorporate Japanese antiques into your home design, regardless of the style. These were on display at the Melbourne Design Week showcase.
1. Unique Style
Design-savvy people prioritise having high quality pieces in their home and typically look for unique pieces with a story and personality, instead of opting
for the same mass-produced goods that are found everywhere. Antiques offer something completely unique. Many Kazari Japanese antiques are over a century
old, and were handcrafted by artisans skilled in their trade. This kind of individuality makes the perfect statement piece for your home.
If you’re thoughtful about what you include in your home, you probably already consider sustainability when selecting pieces for your space. There’s nothing
quite like antiques when it comes to sustainability: reusing beautiful pieces of design that were created long ago instead of producing new ones. You
know you’re being light on the planet by electing to use what we already have, and you also know you’re getting quality: these pieces have proven themselves
through their longevity.
Antique Japanese accounting ledgers supplied by Kazari + Ziguzagu have been featured in Donna Hay Magazine.
These books date back to the Edo period,
18th century and were used to style contemporary Japanese dishes in the Autumn 2018 issue of the magazine, available now.
Crispy rice cakes with spicy sashimi tuna and green tea
Miso clams with udon noodles and pickled shitake mushrooms
After a year on hiatus the Melbourne Antique Fair is back on the calendar, presented by the Australian Art & Antique Dealers Association, it will run from May 4th-6th in a new location in the Town Square Pavilion at the Melbourne Showgrounds. With the opening Gala preview evening on Thursday 3rd May.
For tickets and further information please visit the AAADA website. We won't be at the fair in a retail capacity this year however highly recommend a visit. It's just like walking through the pages of history.