Kanso is a Japanese word that translates to "simplicity" in English. It is one of a set of aesthetic principles that acts as one of the key elements of the larger philosophy of wabi sabi. Kanso emphasizes the elimination of clutter and superfluous decoration; expressing things in a plain, simple way by omitting the non-essential. The concept's roots are heavily tied to Zen Buddhism and the idea that enlightenment and clarity can be obtained through simplification and the renunciation of the formalistic, ritualistic and dogmatic practices of more traditional forms of Buddhism. The practice is perhaps best illustrated in the work of the Japanese Zen painters who often restricted their tools to a single brush, sumi ink, and a sheet of paper. They would strive to complete an entire painting in as few brushstrokes as was absolutely necessary with some paintings consisting of only a single, continuous movement.
This collection of images represents a photographic journey in search of the simplicity that kanso refers to. Over the past year and a half I have been seeking to strip down the photographic process to only it's essential elements and, as a Japanese proverb states, create maximum effect with minimal means. I have pulled from and played with elements from masters who's work I have studied and rigorously admired over the past few years.