Helen Homan Wu and Aki Onda - A different sort of value
Former artist Helen Homan Wu founded multi-media production agency Opalnest in 2007. With projects based in New York, Berlin and Hong Kong, Opalnest is devoted to producing compelling cross-disciplinary events, curating diversified art exhibitions, creating cultural programs and publishing artist special editions. “It’s about bringing an audience together with the artist and to share this moment.” Helen explains, “it’s not something they can buy but it is the experience of the moment.”
Through focusing on artists who work with sound, Helen’s attention was drawn to sound artist Aki Onda, who actually came from a commercial music production background in Japan. In 1990 Aki formed the Band Audio Sports, together with Eye Yamatsuka and Nobukazu Takemura in Osaka. Quickly, he established himself as a producer and soon became a sought-after studio technician due to his in-depth knowledge of music production. From 2002 on, Aki started to dedicate more and more time to his art, in which he chooses to go against the development of technology by working with old school Walkmans and cassettes.
For more than twenty years, he has been using the cassette Walkman for making field recordings, which he keeps as a sound diary, the „Cassettes Memories”. In his performances, he mixes the collected sound memories live, using old tube guitar and bass amps, instead of a conventional speaker system, in order to deliver the warmth and depth of cassettes. “By documenting fragments of sound from my personal life, something is revealed in their accumulation. The meanings of the original events are stripped of their significance, exposing the architecture of memory.”
Find out more about Helen Homan Wu’s production agency Opalnest (http://opalnest.com/) and sound artist Aki Onda (http://www.akionda.net/)