Japan was the first country I visited in Asia when I was 24 years old. It had an extremely powerful impact on my visual sensitivity. I had never been in a country where such attention was paid to details of the visual environment. I can honestly say it changed my way of seeing. We went directly to Kyoto to visit a friend from the Chicago Art Institute who had returned to his family and invited us to visit.
We visited many of the ancient Buddhist Temples; one that still stands out in my mind is the Ryoanji Zen Garden. I returned again in 1987 when I had a one-man show in Tokyo at the Min Gallery. I gave lectures in Tokyo and Osaka. The gallery published a monograph of my work at that time. If it had not already been solidified in my visual cortex on the first visit, the concepts of Shibui and Wabi Sabi were firmly implanted on that second visit. Wabi-Sabi acknowledges three precepts: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect. The aesthetics of Shibui balance simplicity and complexity, admire subtle textures and details and endeavor to attain a timeless tranquility.