THE AHH_NESS OF THINGS
Bethanien (Projektraum) Mariannenplatz 2, 10997 Berlin
An exhibition of works by Tania Bedriñana, Kui Soon Park, So Young Park, Sun Ju Kim, Sung-Hoon Yu, Hong Wonseok, Tomoko Mori, Kazuki Nakahara and Ayaka Azechi
Photography: Sebastian Schobbert, Mathew Murphy
photos exhibition views: https://www.facebook.com/events/381982829231862/
The exhibition The ahh-ness of things takes as its point of departure the multifaceted notion of “mono no aware”, a Japanese aesthetic concept that translates plainly as “the pathos of things”. This expression of thought was first articulated in Heian period literature (794 to 1185), but over subsequent centuries has become an all but ubiquitous component of contemporary Japanese cultural thought and tradition. Given its deeply intricate and philosophical makeup, one could venture to refer to mono no aware as an inner mood or feeling, privileging a special type of emotional connection to our surroundings and the occurrences of daily life. In this way, it cannot simply be understood as “the pathos of things” or “awareness of environment”, but is linked to a complex uderstanding of ephemerality and the acceptance of impermanence. Within a philosophical framework such as this, there is a dynamic present that is neither overtly positive or negative, but a space that is emotionally navigated by a connection or understanding of a “middle ground” of sorts, in which a situation or circumstance can be simultaneously celebrated yet imbued with melancholy. It is within this structure that the artists included in The ahh-ness of things explore the world around and in us, utilizing painting, sculpture, video, drawing and performance to highlight both the connection and the dependency between beauty and a sense of fleetingness.