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“Mono No Aware... is a Japanese phrase that’s difficult to translate….” curator and artist, Alette Simmons-Jiménez, says in her most recent interview with WhiteHot Magazine writer, Cori Hutchinson, on how her eponymous exhibition title came to be. 

“In general, it refers to one showing empathy and respect for life and nature, and the beauty of the transient nature of all things. What’s here today will eventually fade and something else will replace it.” 

This, in a sentence, is the driving philosophy behind the series of works - which range from “sharp visuals contrasting between the fuzzy, hanging clouds and hard, knuckle-like sculpture…” 

Cloud in Yellow

Cloud in Yellow, polypropylene, lightbulb, crystal beads, acrylic, suspended, 94x36x36 inches (image: Kerry McLaney)                         

Claw  & The Calling Wall

Claw & The Calling Wall, installation view, vinyl rainspouts, acrylic, aluminum -  20x30x30 

Hutchinson goes further, asking Alette, “what role does the ephemeral play in your work?” 

To which she answers, rather poetically, “As an art student, I was taught to let my work evolve naturally. Not to attempt to dissect meaning from it, so not to create contrived work…. I produced work like that for decades, with a freedom that was profoundly gratifying.”

She expands on this time period of her art-making in her interview, exploring how she wanted to return back to this feeling after spending the latter part of her career bending to appeal to the “artworld apparatuses that insisted that artist explain their work… [and how she] struggled over what [she was] “required” to know….”

The re-centering of herself birthed the pieces that can be found in Mono-No-Aware, which brilliantly brings to light the “beauty of the transient nature of all things.”

Read Cori Hutchinson’s full article here.

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