Originating from the philosophy of Zen-Buddhism, various aesthetical principles were born in Japan, one of them is „mono no aware“ (the beauty of impermanence). Our western culture has always associated the impermanence of life with death as a definite and afflicting end to life. Zen, however, postulates that everything is in a state of ever-changing flow and that death is just another part of life. Every moment of our existence is seen as a perfect expression of life, which only exists for a brief moment in time and thus has to be honored and experienced in full awareness. In Zen-Philosophy the fragile and brief nature of moments makes them even more precious. Because western philosophy connects impermanence with death, we also tend to associate the notion of change with feelings of sadness or loss. To convert these feelings into acceptance and even appreciation is the art of „mono no aware“.

One of Uwe Langmanns ambitions as a photographer is to induce this kind of awareness in the viewer, leading towards a more attentive way of life, where beauty and meaning can be found in even the most profane subjects and briefest of moments. In his artistic work he is therefore less concerned with a concrete depiction of reality, but more so with an emotional and poetic interpretation of the world surrounding him, as well as an exploration of the artistic possibilities of his photographic medium.

To achieve this he developed his own photographic style, where he takes his photographs primarily in particular light and weather conditions, utilizing snow, fog and diffused light from overcast skies. The muted light results in a lighter, more painterly look that features less realistic details. His approach also makes use of some special photographic techniques like overexposure and sometimes long exposure. By doing so he is looking for ways to make the unspeakable, underlying elements of his images tangible or at least palpable for the viewer and to transfer his images into the realms of metaphoric meaning and suggestions. Landscapes and objects become ‚projection surfaces‘ for his thoughts and feelings, as well as for those of the viewer, who is always invited to actively enter into a reflective dialogue with the images.

Image © Guido Stoll