I find it fascinating that in different languages there are sometimes single words for topics or concepts that in other languages have to be explained with many words. And when the word itself somehow has a sound or look to it that for me at least seems to match the feeling of it, that is just wonderful.

One of these words, taken from the Japanese language, is

“A profound awareness of the universe which evokes feelings that are inexplicably deep and too mysterious for words”.

I came across this word some time ago when I was exploring ways how I could more deeply express my feelings when looking at a certain scene or object.
Simply taking a photo was not enough…there was something missing. So I started to combine the photos with paintings I made – abstract and intuitive – and this works so much better.

This here was my first attempt. It is still “quite” realistic.

But I am getting braver… 😉

With this process I can now combine the outside view with my inside feel into one image and I don’t need words to describe it.

What I find even more fascinating is that these combined images of course create the same or maybe even a very different feeling/reaction in you when you look at them and you might even incorporate some of that feeling or the idea into your own work, so in a way they started a little wave…through the universe…okay maybe not the whole universe but at least my little part of it 😉 .

Which of course makes me very curious to know what you think or feel when you look at them 🙂 .
Now I need to decide if they are already “good” enough to get their own album in the gallery… 🤔


  1. Lina on October 21, 2019 at 17:05

    Gorgeous work!! And I say go for it. A special Yugen section would be awesome.

  2. John on October 21, 2019 at 21:21

    Yes…the deeper we go the less words are needed … how to describe the indescribable feeling of the vastness of our connection to everything…. language suddenly feels inadequate to encapsulate everything that we are experiencing and feeling.
    Try to explain love … even that feels almost impossible because once put into words there is always that feeling of something more that is missing.
    Yes….why do we look at a scene and think it is beautiful…? We feel it inside so deeply and no words will ever fully describe it no matter how much we try and also it is a deeply personal experience.
    Beautiful works Isabel that definitely deserve a series 🙂

    • Isa Cienfuegos on May 23, 2020 at 22:32

      What a curious mix of photography and painting. It is like seeing a piece of the cosmos, an explosion of materia in a nebula. The connection is so deep. I didn’t know about the word Yugen, but the feeling that represents has been a constant companion in my life.

      Hope you kept working on this, Isabel.

  3. Joem on October 24, 2019 at 17:05

    I agree with both lina John, it would be goog to see you continue this progression.
    Also this represents a distinct change from the last series. Speaking of which how is your father doing?

  4. Joem on October 24, 2019 at 17:05


  5. Joem on October 24, 2019 at 17:08

    Aargh lina.and John…..

    Got to pay more attention

  6. John on November 2, 2019 at 00:09

    … and yet our experience of life and trying to express what we feel in our minds and hearts even though it is lacking in so many ways is deeply beautiful and touching… our trying our best to express through music, poetry, art … etc is a truly beautiful thing even if it does not fully express the full depth of our feelings … because it continually drives us to strive to express … to try to express more and more deeply and it connects us all in so many varied and beautiful ways 🙂
    (Just some thoughts coming to me) 🙂

  7. Joe on November 9, 2019 at 08:13

    Came across Mladen Mirinkov on Instagram a bit ago his work remindes me of yours but different, thought you might be interested.

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