Cloudy impenetrability.

Yesterday I rounded up my letter by declaring my nebulous nature. There is a concept in Japanese aesthetics - yugen meaning cloudy impenetrability. It refers to the mystery, unknowability and obscurity.

There is a beautiful definition of this concept by Daisetz T. Suzuki: It is something we feel within ourselves, and yet it is an object about which we can talk, it is an objet of mutual communication only among those who have the feeling of it. It is hidden behind the clouds, but not entirely out of sight, for we feel its presence, its secret message being transmitted through the darkness however impenetrable to the intellect.


The sense of presence that can’t be expressed in words but has a true value and experiential quality while being shared among others. Art in my opinion is a well designed framework to hold those types of mental journeys. I do experience that there is less and less space for the undefined in our lives. Colour-like space is never a complete darkness, even more so if we take a distance and observe their passage, we can see the patterns that allow us to connect. Seeing pattens in the skies is an act of creative imagination, proactive shaping of reality. The ability to create patterns is the other side of the coin. David Chapman in his project Meaningness looks at nebulosity and patterns as the two fundamental components of meaninglessness. I can fully relate to that and recognise the difficulties that come with drifting without grounding. The good thing is that we more often make patterns even if they are not there, perhaps, it has to do with the primal survival instinct to escape danger. We would rather make mistakes of seeing non-existent patterns than rejecting the real ones. And here art comes handy as well. As it is a safe environment to see the patterns that are not there without getting into trouble, and through that experience embrace and give in to the nebulosity where we can tap into the unknown. Art, therefore, can be also a potentially dangerous space, if the truth is being treated without care.


Besides embracing the nebulosity in my practice, looking at the patterns is a very interesting activity to engage with. In the past 10 years of my artistic adventure, I can see how my words have been talking to me, telling about what was unsettling to me, what was important to highlight. Most of the time this channelling of the world and letting it flow through me was a rather unconscious act but looking at the red threads within the diverse body of work I could pick out a few prominent patterns. Paradoxically, disrupting patterns is one of my patterns, so let see how I can disrupt that one or perhaps even find my peace with it.

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