At first glance, our logo may seem a tad ordinary, but the Enso is a sacred symbol that represents much more than its literal translation of “circle”. Enso transcends even typical themes of continuity into a metaphoric commentary on the relationship between artist and canvas. It is the emblem of everything and nothing, the eternal and finite. It represents fortitude and grace, ignorance and wisdom. The Enso is harmony, peace, and acceptance: it is absolute enlightenment, strength, elegance, everything, and nothing at all.
Zen teachings center and revolve around enlightenment of spirit, mind, and soul. In Zen philosophy, Enso is the visual representation of harmony. It represents the circle of life, connection, and community. On a more individual level, Enso is said to represent the artist’s innermost self at that particular moment in time. It is a snapshot of the relationship between artist and medium, fully encompassing the completeness or emptiness of the moment. It is a spiritual experience: a single stroke in which the universe is as it is.
The Enso is purposefully flawed. It is not meant to be a perfect circle, nor is it supposed to represent an eagerness for perfection. Instead, the Enso symbolizes beauty in imperfection or the idea of Wabi-Sabi. As mentioned before, the Enso captures what is and should be. The circle drawn is what was meant to be drawn and that, in and of itself, is true beauty. When painting the Enso, you let go of expectations and simply allow yourself to complete the fluid motion. Perhaps the end product is an open circle, symbolizing openness to development and growth. Or maybe the circle is closed representing accomplishment and gratification. Either way, it is not to be modified, altered, or “fixed”, only accepted. An inspiring and comforting thought, don’t you think? Enso teaches us that we are perfect as we are- that our imperfections make us unique rather than flawed. There’s a strength to that belief and an exquisite elegance to acceptance that allows for genuine contentment.
Another more visually literal interpretation of Enso is the idea of all or nothing. A circle is round and continuous; therefore, it naturally represents completeness or wholesomeness. Or perhaps it is an endless void- a blank space enclosed within an infinite shape. Why not both? The Enso is everything and nothing. Everywhere and nowhere. Fullness and emptiness. In essence, the Enso means balance and harmony.
We at Haiku allow the Enso to guide us on our path towards enlightenment and peace in the home. From the strength of our solid hardwood platform beds to the timeless elegance of our Mid-Century Modern dining room tables, Haiku’s catalog is as broad as the Enso’s symbolism. But perhaps the truest expressions of the Enso are our live-edge pieces. The Natural Teak Coffee Table, the Mokuzai Dining Table, the Madagascar, and Nottingham Bedroom Collections all showcase the exquisiteness of natural wood, proving that there is beauty in imperfection- that things are as they should be.
You might be wondering, “we get all of that from a poorly drawn circle?” It certainly isn’t odd or surprising. Simplicity and minimalism are fundamental characteristics of the Japanese, Zen Modern aesthetic. What could be more fitting to represent Haiku Designs, than a symbol of harmony: an uncomplicated, clean, and effortless brush stroke drawn in a single, elegant swoosh.