Randa Muammar Kawar, Chairperson of Seiko Sogetsu Study Group
“When the objects we use every day and the surroundings we live in have become in themselves a work of art, then we shall be able to say that we gave achieved a balanced life.”Bruno Munari; Design as Art.
Yin-Yang is a concept deeply rooted in Taoist philosophy, representing the constant state of change or duality in the universe forming a whole. It comes to describe how opposite forces are interconnected and mutually dependent in the natural world; and, harmony is only achieved when the two forces combined, are in balance. While most individuals think that balance exists in the middle, that is not the case. For natural balance to be achieved there must be a meeting of opposites. Therefore, any natural phenomenon within nature can be understood in relation to another; one will always either be yin or yang in comparison with the other. Whilst, Yin is characterized within Taoist philosophy, as slow, soft, yielding, cold, wet, and passive; and is associated with the gentler side of life, like water, earth, the moon, femininity, and the night. Yang, on the other hand, is fast, hard, solid, focused, hot, dry, and aggressive, and is usually associated with fire, sky, the sun, masculinity, and the day. Together, Yin-Yang is continuously changing, and are endlessly transforming one into the other in an eternal dance of becoming, and within this constant change is a cyclical pattern. The symbol shows the cyclical changes, and the dots inside the white and black halves indicate that within each is the seed of the other.
Life on Earth is possible primarily because light, water, and a comfortable temperature allow it to flourish. These features are part of our physical environment and part of our everyday experience. Temperature, humidity, and light vary across the Earth's surface, and from the surface skyward. These changes in micro climatological conditions provide challenges and opportunities for species adapting to these changes; Without these components working hand in hand to create the full spectrum of living, then life itself will cease to exist. For humans, it is easy to live life brushing by the very miracles that nature comes to present every day through this law of balance; “Life is so balanced, even when we are not”. It is also easy to forget this rule in the application of amazing arrangement and design. Too much of one singular component, be it bright, pleasant, or simply beautiful on its own; can cause disbalance in said design and arrangement; for too much sunshine will ultimately create a desert. Translating nature’s way into design and arrangement, we find that balance and contrast are the fundamental principle of expressive design; the concept of Yin-Yang therefore is central to brilliant design and arrangement; and on a larger scale, a brilliant life. It is evident that regardless of different teachings, be it spiritual, artistic, or moral, they all come to center around the very teachings of mother earth; beauty comes from balance, from embracing the good as well as the bad, to walk in light and darkness and give each the respect they deserve. For without the half we cannot become full and that is the lesson that life comes to teach us in all disciplines and that leads our lives into happiness.
Henceforth, “It's about finding that balance where you have one foot in the familiar, one foot in the unfamiliar. If you have two feet in the unfamiliar it's overwhelming. If you have two feet in the familiar, then there's just boredom. It's about having both.”