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Aleana Egan, Yūgen

The Japanese word yūgen describes “an awareness of the universe that triggers emotional responses that are too mysterious and deep for words.” Another concept important in Japanese aesthetics - mono no aware - is literally "the pathos of things", and also translated as "an empathy toward things."

Underlying these concepts is a philosophical understanding of the world as in flux and impermanent and suggests a non-linguistic form of comprehension. There are resonances of these concepts in each of the artist’s practices: an interest in and awareness of pace, duration and time and how these things are experienced and become manifested in different ways. There is also a sense of ‘slow time’ in the artists’ approaches to making work - where a convergence or co-existence of different times in objects, places and texts form a basis from which to generate sculpture, photographs and paintings.

Though the English language does not present concise translations for such resonant Japanese philosophies, language matters to the artists in different ways as does the non or pre-linguistic which is intrinsic to both the generation and the reading of works.