Wabi Sabi

Chiara Cappetta is a 20-year-old self-taught photographer from Italy. Born in Agropoli, a little town by the sea in the south of Italy, she moved with her family to Bologna. Here she studies Communication at the university.

How did the idea for the series come about?

Wabi Sabi is a project based on this untranslatable Japanese world which means: wabi (侘) ‘simple‘ and sabi (寂) ‘old‘, something that is getting older but has a story to tell. So, in the Japanese aesthetic this world view bring us to accept that the earth’s beauty is impermanent, imperfect, and that’s what makes it special. First of all, me and my best friend Luca Migliaro (the stylist) were deeply inspired by two friends of ours, Bruna and Marcella, and their pale and delicate colours. We just figured that the location could be a hill in our hometown, Agropoli, because there was, unfortunately, a massive fire. Basically we wanted to emphasise the living nature, colours, purity and the youth in a dead place.

Can we photograph the female body differently in a more powerful way?

Yes. I think there is a growing conscience that female bodies are different but at the same time all beautiful in their peculiarity, and the social media has had the role in spreading this message (that’s what I like about them). Today teenagers can reach people from all over the world and they can share and get ideas; personally I’ve been really touched by some independent magazines and young artists who deal with intimate and uncomfortable issues some of which we were told to be ashamed of. But that’s not enough, because in most cases the female body MUST follow certain standards or it’s censored (see the war against nipples) or humiliated. I don’t know the daily situation in other countries, but in Italy this is a very poorly crafted topic. Art can do so much, and portraying and involving women in the creative process is important. This could educate young generations (but not only!). That’s the power and the beauty of art: in front of a picture, photo, movie, book or a song we’re all the same.

What inspires you?

I’ve always loved art in its various forms. I think that everything I see (I go to the cinema at least once a week), everything I read or listen leaves something in me. But the most important ideas I have come through my daily life and nature. I think I’m lucky to have art as my ‚safe place‘ because I know that every problem I have, every time I feel blue, I have this companion that saves me.

How would you define beauty?

Beauty is freedom. Freedom is the most important value to me, and when I see something that’s free I call it beautiful. I hope this can transpire through my photos.

Film or digital?

Tough question! I think that it depends on many many factors, starting from the artist’s mind to the final idea. Personally, I think that my film works are better than the digital ones. I feel that they’re more personal.

What makes you happy and what’s next for you?

Since I released my first photographic book Presente, un’odissea last March I met a lot of new people, and I’m really grateful for this opportunity. To go for a walk before the sun rises makes me happy; to see the colours of the sky that changes when it goes down. It makes me smile when the wind blows softly; I love to watch a good movie, read art books, listen to music. But when I see my ideas realised it’s the greatest joy. I’m self-taught and I’ve never been to a photography course, but next October I’ll attend one and I’m really excited because I know I’ll learn a lot!