Japanese aesthetics: 'mono no aware'

The Littoral Zone  project has been on hold in  2023.  The previous  Ephemeral post was in May 2023 after a 5 months hiatus. Then there is nothing until September -- a 4 month gap. So that is  one post in 9 months. What's more there were large gaps between posts before that. 

The two pictures in this post, which  were made in May 2023, pick up where I left off through reconnecting with the Japanese aesthetic concept of mono no aware. It's a return to familiar ground. 

The basic reason for the hiatus in 2023 is that I lost my way - or ran out of puff. The initial motivation was  a blog of photos and text linked to poodlewalks as a supplement.  Over time  it slowly evolved from a blog to a project that  connected the photos of the littoral zone that I made whilst on my daily poodlewalks to Japanese aesthetics.  The blog  became  a way or means for  me to work out  how to do this. 

What appealed about Japanese aesthetics was that it was based on the world of flux that presents itself to our senses being the only reality: there is no conception of some stable Platonic realm above or behind it.This  appealed because the littoral zone was a world of flux and it connected with  the process metaphysics in western philosophy  -- eg., Nietzsche's rejection of Platonism's two worlds  and his idea of the will to power  that sees the world as comprised of dynamic active and reactive forces in tension. 

The difficulty I encountered was that  I really didn't know that know much about Japanese aesthetics. I  struggled with the Japanese aesthetic concepts that I initially  discovered  and  I wasn't sure how to evolve  the concepts underpinning  the  series of photos in this littoral zone project.  

I  initially worked on the assumption that the littoral zone pictures were centred around  the  Japanese aesthetics of Wabi-Sabi. I  then  broadened the project's aesthetic underpinnings to include the  concept of mono no aware. 

But I struggled  to push  the project  beyond the world of  flux and the impermanence of all things,  which is how I understood the concept of mono no aware.  Most of the photos  I posted on this blog were about the transience of objects in the Littoral Zone. Objects that are here today and gone tomorrow -- the ephemerality of nature on the littoral zone.  

What flawed me was the spatial concept of Ma --the void between things, negative space, or  an emptiness full of possibilities, like a promise yet to be fulfilled. So it is more than minimalism as a visual aesthetic since spaces have meanings prior to any activity that happens within them. They create moments of awareness and quiet.  

The aesthetic concept of Ma, like that of Yūgen, proved to be too complex for me.  So  I just stopped photographing, posting, researching  and reading.