Ma (間) is a Japanese word which can be roughly translated as "gap", "space", "pause" or as "the space between two structural parts." There is no equivalent single word term for Ma in the English language.
Usage in the West
Space is substance. Cézanne painted and modelled space. Giacometti sculpted by "taking the fat off space". Mallarmé conceived poems with absences as well as words. Ralph Richardson asserted that acting lay in pauses... Isaac Stern described music as "that little bit between each note - silences which give the form"... The Japanese have a word (ma) for this interval which gives shape to the whole. In the West we have neither word nor term. A serious omission.
The Honda VFR 1200 motorcycle specifically references the concepts of Ma relative to the design of the space between the side fascia.
Usage in Eastern Philosophy
- Thirty spokes meet in the hub,
- but the empty space between them
- is the essence of the wheel.
- Pots are formed from clay,
- but the empty space between it
- is the essence of the pot.
- Walls with windows and doors form the house,
- but the empty space within it
- is the essence of the house.
- ↑ Japanese language definition
- ↑ http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/jgard/msg100248139141.html
- ↑ http://www.artlex.com/ArtLex/Ne.html
- ↑ http://www.mfj-online.org/journalPages/MFJ38/iimura.html
- ↑ The Art of Looking Sideways. by Alan Fletcher. Page 370. Published by Phaidon, 2001. ISBN 0714834491
- ↑ The Art of Looking Sideways. by Alan Fletcher. Page 369. Published by Phaidon, 2001. ISBN 0714834491
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