White Space Art Asia, along with 6 other Japanese galleries (H-art Beat Gallery, Kawata Gallery, Kobayashi Gallery, Kogure Gallery, Shukado Gallery & YOD) is collaborating on the inaugural Japanese art exhibition Dialectics: Mono No Aware, in an endeavour to foster a deeper understanding and more profound appreciation for the lyric sensitivity to mono no aware. Mono no aware (物の哀れ), a core concept in Japanese aesthetics, is defined as the pathos of things. It is the ability to be moved so deeply by ephemera. When applied specifically to the arts, it refers to a heightened sensitivity to beauty and a melancholia that comes with the appreciation and understanding of impermanence. The subtleties and layers of meaning in mono no aware defies simple translation.
Mono no aware offers an emotional experience so powerful yet obscure to us. It can be said that our lives are simply a collection of the changing seasons, the perpetual rhythms of life and death where flowers bloom and wither, tides ebb and flow and the moon waxes and wanes without fail. In fact, in a complete submission to the brevity of life, the Japanese do not admire an eternally blossoming flower. These are common narratives that have been written and rewritten by humans for many centuries but remain ever relevant – a cherry blossom in full bloom is undeniably beautiful, yet it is the delicate falling of sakura petals that inexplicably pulls at the heart strings.
Through this exhibition, viewers are invited to contemplate upon the artworks and the literature provided, re-evaluating their dispositions toward impermanence and timelessness in Japanese art. Look beyond the veil of the superficial to reveal the fragile, poignant beauty of the evanescent. The pathos of the fleeting moment is ever present even in the most mundane of things, a sympathetic sadness and a serene acceptance of life’s inevitabilities.
Tea Ceremony by EN Japanese Tea Culture School: 26 October, 4-7pm
Ceramics Demonstration by Saya Yamaguchi: 26 October, 4-7pm
Sake Tasting by SAKEMARU: 26 October, 5-7pm
Venue: ION Art gallery, Level 4 ION Orchard
When: 26 Oct - 3 Nov 2019, 10.30am - 8pm
Venue/Organizer: ION Art Gallery