An Ode To Simplicity
An Ode to Simplicity
Leonardo Da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” From a polymath and Renaissance Man who was equal parts artist, inventor and scientist, these are not words to be taken lightly.
What we love about his words is that they do not deny complexity. Instead, they allude to the sentiment that in a world that is anything but, there is an art to keeping things simple. With this in mind, here are more creative expressions that have helped us imbibe this near-lost art:
Agnes Martin’s intricate, fine-lined grids, bands, and blocks of muted colour convey the artist’s lifelong search for serenity and sublime beauty. The late painter drew her singular style from influences that ranged from Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism to Zen Buddhism and American Transcendentalism. She often began her geometric works by drawing in pencil, then covered her marks with a layer of gesso. Ink washes also feature throughout her oeuvre. (Courtesy The Artsy)
THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS
Arundhati Roy's first novel won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 1997. It continues to amaze readers years since then, with its powerful themes and astonishing prose. A book that traverses past and present, political and social undercurrents, and the unpredictable currents of a river that influences pivotal incidents, it is anything but simple. Yet, its narration pulses with the invincible innocence of children understanding that their world can change in a single day, and that it is often the small things that make a big impact.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.
Learning never exhausts the mind.
Art is never finished, only abandoned.
Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.
The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.
It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.
As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death.
Water is the driving force of all nature.”
— Leonardo Da Vinci
In his informative visual essay, The Immersive Realism of Studio Ghibli (above), video journalist Asher Isbruker chalks out the main reasons as to why Miyazaki’s creations feel so disarmingly familiar and relevant, despite some of them being as displaced from reality as most of our childhood bedtime tales. “No matter how far-fetched and imaginary [is] the story,” Isbruker emphasises, “the world of a Ghibli film consistently feels tactile and realistic.” To prove his point, he cites the example of the 2001 Academy Award winning film Spirited Away, directed and written by Miyazaki.
“…the bathhouse feels alive and real. While it is inherently unbelievable, we believe it exists in the context of the world (of the film) because it’s so well established. There are employees with jobs to do, sleeping quarters, a coal-powered furnace that heats the baths, different kinds of soaps for different clients… If you followed another employee, what would their day be like? That’s fun to imagine.”
It’s interesting that in a story bristling with absolutely wild events, what sticks out as the most endearing bits are the little, uncharted moments that could have easily been from any slice-of-life indie film: waking up alone in an unfamiliar room to the view of an ocean, menial-labour employees gathering at the end of the day on a balcony to wistfully share their future plans of moving to the big city where prospects are better, two young children eating rice cakes in a garden full of spring flowers, the simple beauty of a wide-angle animated shot, downpour on the streets of a ghost-town. Nothing grand.
Speaking of bath houses and sleeping quarters—two spaces that underscore the fundamental joys of living—we leave you with our collection of conscious bed and bath linen. With a commitment to Himêya’s philosophy, we too believe in doing the work that makes resting and living better and simpler.