Ami Yamasaki (vocalist and interdisciplinary artist) received an ACC Fellowship in 2016 to conduct interviews with artists, curators, and residents of New York City. Throughout her work, Ami explores the connection between humans, their environment, and the universe. Through her voice, she captures the unique “resonance” of a particular space, making tangible, the nearly inaudible. Voice is not only her tool for creation and reflection, but also the ultimate constant. “Voice,” she says, “is something that would keep existing in the air as a physical phenomenon, even after it disappeared as sound, in the form of “vibration.”
It is my belief that artistic expressions which consider this trajectory—the birth, disappearance, and resonance of “voice”—can be seen as thought experiments which open possibilities of a deeper understanding towards the mechanism of the world. The creative impulse...comes from a fundamental question formulated in my childhood and still strongly retained at present: ‘What is the composition of the world and (I as) self?’ and ‘What is the boundary between myself and others?’” In ear to catch, Ami dissolves that boundary, listening intently to the world, holding its sounds, if but for a moment.
Using my time at home, I decided to make a miniature of the feather installation I always make. After the COVID -19 pandemic, the world's soundscape changed dramatically. For me, who always listens to the sound with all my might, I feel the load on my ears. Inside this miniature, a swirl of tiny feathers captures the sound coming into my ear for a very short period of time, allowing me to stay and confront it.
There's another reason I made this. I lost a very important person on March 31. Just before this person disappeared, I called on the phone, and I could hear this person's breath mingling with a small voice. That person is no longer in this world, but the sound of that time, the vibration of the sound may still be in this world. Could this miniature catch it? I thought. I listen and sing a lot while I have to stay at home. I am looking forward to the day when I can freely meet people and sounds.
Grantee Reflections is a platform for ACC alumni to share their collective voice as an international community of artists, scholars, and cultural ambassadors. This is a cultural exchange of words, image, video, and sound from around the world. While our bodies cannot travel, our minds can still meet.