Gurpran Rau


Wabi-Sabi: Noun (uncountable): A Japanese aesthetic that derives from imperfection and transience.

“Wabi-sabi is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic. It is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional...the antithesis of our classical Western notion of beauty as something perfect, enduring, and monumental."

These mixed-media paintings are based on my travels in Japan. I was drawn into the heart of a fascinating culture that finds beauty in the imperfections of life and so gracefully accepts the natural cycle of growth and decay.Using layers of paint, texture, collage and photography, I express the memories that are deeply etched in my consciousness. As in Wabi-Sabi, my imagery is of things that are natural and ordinary yet so emotionally evocative: waning autumn leaves, a rusty lantern, yellowing pages of an old book, all reminders of the passage of time and the transience of life.

“Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There’s a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in”.

Leonard Cohen, Anthem

Gurpran Rau

07531 832 981

Artist biography

Mixed-media artist, Gurpran Rau moved to Cambridge from San Francisco. She took classes in Paris at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts and later received an M.A. in Fine Arts from Purdue University.

Her nomadic life has caused the definition of home to shift frequently; her imagery comes from memories of places she has inhabited. Expressing her recollections through color and texture, her hybrid works combine pigment, photography, encaustic and assorted materials on panel and canvas.

Her work has been widely shown in museums and galleries in Europe and the US and is a part of several private and public collections.