Hellen Homan Wu & 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 to share this moment,” Helen explains. “It’s not something they can buy, but it is the experience of the moment.” Through projects with 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. He quickly established himself as a producer and became a sought-after studio technician. From 2002 on, however, Aki dedicated more and more time to his art, which utilizes old Walkmans and cassettes. For more than twenty years, he has been using these for making field recordings. He keeps as a sound diary called "Cassettes Memories." In his performances, he mixes the collected sound memories live, using old tube amps instead of a conventional speaker system. “By documenting fragments of sound from my personal life, something is revealed in their accumulation," he says. "The meanings of the original events are stripped of their significance, exposing the architecture of memory."

Editorial Lead by Kitty Bolhoefer / Filming & Photos by Fridolin Schöpper / Editing by Matthias Roeckl / Music by Bunnystripes

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