Photo of Mono No Aware art gallery. (image credit: Maddie Covino)

The McIninch Art Gallery, located in Robert Frost Hall, regularly offers new art exhibitions in its space, but it shines when the SNHU community takes advantage of it. Communications Professor Dave Humphreys opted to use the space for his first ever photography gallery that can be viewed from now until October 26.

At the opening reception on September 19, students and faculty gathered at the McIninch Art Gallery to be the first to see Professor David Humphreys photo and video gallery, “Mono No Aware.” Humphreys shot film photos, digital photos, and videos in Bar Harbor, New York City and Japan. Humphreys’ vision for his show took many forms over the span of a year.

“I decided I was making a show last September, but I didn’t know what the show was about, and I didn’t know where I was going to show it,” said Humphreys. He spent a bit of time determining the best medium for his show but ultimately landed on photography.

While he knew his medium, he still had to find a topic. After a few months, it finally appeared to him. Humphreys said “In January, as I was preparing to take a class trip to Japan, I was reading some Japanese philosophy and [mono no aware] really connected with me. I started thinking about in my life where there were so many moments like this philosophy.”

He decided to name his gallery after one of the Japanese philosophies that resonated with him the most. He said, “Mono no aware is a Japanese phrase that would roughly translate to this sense of nostalgia that you would feel while experiencing something. It’s the idea that you’re happy to experience it but you’re sad that is has been experienced and never will be again.” He added, “You’ll often see this in Japanese literature or philosophy describing the cherry blossom season.”

Humphreys also had to narrow down his photos to just a few to put in his show. Hundreds of photos became only around 20. These were the photos he felt highlighted “Mono No Aware” the most.

He said, “A lot of the photos I took and put in this show were serendipitous moments. The picture “Yes!”, the boat, I was sitting there trying to get pictures of it but they were all underexposed. A truck pulled up next to me as I pushed the shutter button and its headlights hit the boat and illuminated it for two seconds before it was gone.”

“Mono No Aware” will be hanging in the McIninch Art Gallery until October 26 and all are welcome to take a look at Professor Humphrey’s exhibit.