MONO NO AWARE in the Gallery K45



April 25 – May 1

Comparison is the main tool for cognition and comprehension of experience.
Shades of joy change depending on the awareness of independent factors: someone is deprived of it, forgot it, or the joy itself is fleeting. In the metamodern oscillation, melancholia and euphoria are the main affective pair, as Natalya Khrushcheva writes in the text “Melancholia and euphoria. About metamodern in academic music”.

In Japanese culture, a subtle concept captures this borderline of joy and sadness -“mono no aware”, which means a state of slight anguish from the realization of the actual impermanence of life. This capacious idiom served as the name for Elen Alien's project. Fallen sakura leaves, collected by the artist in Stockholm, express in her work the position of a cosmopolitan, a fundamental rejection of the imposed cultural identity. The image of a migrant is a principle of modern freedom, which has two sides: both the mutual enrichment of cultures and personal alienation, longing for a fleeting meeting with cultural tradition, “mono no aware”.

In an abstract pattern woven from petals, there is a frozen moment of perception, contemplation of the falling leaves of sakura. An experience fixed in a material object in an attempt to preserve an elusive beauty is protected from the barbaric intrusion of technologies and virtualities. A direct encounter with the material pattern of nature immerses the viewer in meditative reflections on the value of a fleeting moment, gives time and silence to search for stable support within oneself, especially relevant now, in a rapidly changing reality, an unimaginable mixture of concepts, events, aesthetics, and politics.

The artist aims to restart and actualize the viewer’s perception of the sadness of the loss of the past to enhance the joy of the present and change the optics.  The viewer is invited to see himself, space, and the world through the prism of "mono no aware": the works are transparent, mirrored, and fundamentally tuned to the tone of the environment and the audience's empathy.

Through the structural correlation of objects with the surrounding space and directly with the viewer, the author abstracts and emphasizes the fundamental correlativity of the universe: people, nature, and objects are actors in the processes of life and death, which in one way or another influence the whole world.


Special thanks to Margarita Matiz Bergfeldt from SEART group, No Picnic, Jacob Erixson, Natalia and Evgeniy Zalisskoviy, Ruslan Kamalutdinov

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