“Saudade has an object; however, its object has become itself, for it means ‘nostalgia for nostalgia’, a meta-nostalgia, a longing oriented toward the longing itself”–F. D. Santos
Saudade is an untranslatable Portuguese term, referring to a profound melancholy of an absent subject with the underlying knowledge that the subject of longing will never return. It is the ‘missingness’ knowing you will never be able to retrieve those feelings of longing.
My practice is a saudade for moments I have once revered. It is my heartfelt mourning for the inevitable temporary nature of phases in human life. Everything I make is to pay homage to the things that I held dear, without pretensions—virtue, innocence, purity, the living and dead.
Visually, my work has a certain softness and humorous sweetness that relaxes the overbearing syntax of bitter subject matter. I work with materials that assure an outliving of the human body and endure transience: silicone, fiber, plastic, canvas. I attempt to recreate my longings, whether through sculpture or paintings or photographs, as to come face to face with fear of loss and to recollect gratitude for having experienced those moments.
Words + Photographs Lily Hyon