In his 1933 essay In Praise of Shadows, Jun’ichiro Tanizaki explores the Japanese sense of beauty, especially when it comes to light and shade. He discusses at length the manner in which Westerners build their homes with tiny eaves and huge windows, allowing as much sunlight to penetrate as possible. And more they over-illuminate the interiors with garish electric globes.
The traditional Japanese abode, in contrast, is defined by an appreciation of shadow and subtlety, related closely to the concept of sabi (a Japanese term that roughly means aged, or with a patina). Tanizaki speaks eloquently of the beauty of admiring a scroll in a dark temple alcove, or the way that light from the garden ‘steals in but dimly through paper-panelled doors’.
“And so it has come to be that the beauty of a Japanese room depends on a variation of shadows, heavy shadows against light shadows…the mysterious Orient of which Westerners speak probably refers to the uncanny silence of these dark places.”
Here at LZF we share the philosophy espoused in Tanazaki’s landmark manifesto of aesthetics. Lamps like Escape by Ray Power and Raindrop by Javier Herrero Studio are works of pure light and shade.
Even the way the light glows through our beautiful timber veneers is reminiscent of moonlight shining through a shoji screen.
To celebrate our love and respect for In Praise of Shadows, we had our photographic team shoot several LZF lamps in classic Japanese spaces.
We think Tanazaki would approve.