Mono No Aware by Gabriella Achadinha

物の哀れ | Mono no Aware

An awareness of the impermanence of all experiences and memories, an almost nostalgic, wistful acceptance of that which cannot be forever held onto. The phrase has become an aesthetic sensibility in Japan, an understanding that this beauty can only be ephemeral. South African photographer Gabriella Achadinha worked in collaboration with artist Marlize Eckard to create these powerful images representing the fleeting impermanence of our experiences and memories.

“I was having a conversation recently about how the English language seems to fail us with it’s one dimensional words for emotion. In other languages, there are untranslatable notions and words that take us so much more language to unravel. Mono no aware is a phrase such as this. It pins down a feeling I have had while traveling in such an exact way that it feels almost a relief to know there is language for it.”, said Gabriella Achadinha.

Gabriella shot the images in southern Japan and central Seoul. The series comprises of day and night photographs. Achadinha specifically shot spaces and people that felt to her to be existing out of time and thus tugging at the idea of mono no aware. Marlize Eckard has added her touch by creating the “fleeting impermanence” via acrylic paint with additional strokes that create the lapse in memory.