In praise of shadows

In “In praise of shadow” by Tanizaki Junichiro, the essence of Japanese aesthetics unfolds through the delicate interplay of light and shadow. Shadows are not merely absence of light; they embody a profound beauty that exists within the nuances of darkness. Tanizaki eloquently portrays how certain qualities thrive in the mysterious realm of shadows, enhancing an elusive kind of beauty that captivates the soul.

In Japanese culture, shadows are not shunned, but rather revered for the depth and subtlety they bring to art, architecture, and everyday life. They infuse spaces with a sense of mystery and tranquility, inviting contemplation and introspection. From the delicate silhouettes of cherry blossoms against paper screens to the dimly lit interiors of traditional tea houses, shadows play an integral role in shaping the aesthetic experience.

As we embrace the beauty of shadows, we gain a deeper appreciation for the ephemeral and the unseen. In the dance of light and darkness, we discover the essence of Japanese aesthetics—a celebration of impermanence, simplicity, and the inherent beauty of life’s fleeting moments.

Let’s cherish the shadows that enrich our lives and remind us of the profound beauty found in the subtlest of nuances.


Hi, I’m Manuela, urban potter and Italian artist who’s passionate about exploring the expressive potential of clay. With a love for Wabi Sabi aesthetics and the beauty of imperfection, I create bespoke ceramics, paintings, and fine art photography. My studio, nestled in the charming city of Milan, is a magical box where creativity runs wild and beauty is abundant. Whether you’re looking to bring a touch of magic into your everyday life, or simply to explore your creative side through art therapy I’m here to inspire and encourage you on your journey. I bring art into the world and celebrate the beauty in every moment. This blog is my Artistic Salad, filled with creativity, beauty, joie de vivre, passion and tools for creative minds.

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