HER SONG

4 – 21 October 2017

Opening Night | Thursday 5 October, 6pm–8pm

+ Performance | 6.30-7.10pm

Aya Hamamoto

Her Song is an exhibition that seeks to investigate a way to give presence to the intangible or the physicality of loss by examining the sensory dimensions of a performance-based installation. This attempt has been grounded in Aya Hamamoto’s personal reflections on grieving over her sister’s death, and responses through artworks to her profound connection with her late sister that continuously affects Hamamoto’s manner of being in the present. Through a focus on the tactility of human voice, this exhibition explores the potential for the sensory relation of her voice with moving images to embody the evanescent texture of loss.

Hamamoto’s strong bond of sisterhood has motivated her to employ singing as a method to illuminate the radiance of her sister’s lost presence and the energetic essence of the young life. Her sister dedicated her life to her dream of becoming a musician, a dream cut short by her sudden death. When Hamamoto sings a Japanese choral piece with silent interludes, she sees echoes of her sister’s powerful presence in the melody, recalling her memory of singing it together. By tracing the inaudible melody through her voice resembling her sister’s, the performance overlays the texture of her sister’s absent presence with her mortal body. Her durational singing ultimately generates a space to lament the ephemera of life.

While enduring the agony of revisiting the tragic incident, her work creates a physical public reminder of her sister’s intangible presence, celebrating her short life. Through revealing the irreducibility of her sister’s existence within herself, her practice continues to declare the invaluable value of her sister’s being. In this sense, the practice internalizes her artistic engagements into her endless mourning process. By doing so, Hamamoto’s performance-based installation proposes a way that art can exist as an attitude towards life.


Images | Aya Hamamoto, The Inaudible Song, 2017, performance-based installation, dimensions variable. Aya Hamamoto, The Inaudible Song, 2017, video still. Images courtesy of the artist.


Aya Hamamoto is an interdisciplinary artist who pursues themes of loss, memory, and Japanese aesthetics of temporality based on her experience of losing her sister. She works primarily with video, sound, performance and installation. Her art practice is concerned with how one’s artistic engagements can become a mode of being. Currently she is a candidate for a Master of Fine Arts (Visual Art) by research at the Victorian College of the Arts, the University of Melbourne. She received the Orloff Family Trust Scholarship from the VCA in 2014.