On April 14, 2018, Japanese artist and vocalist AMI YAMASAKI visited Silas von Morisse GALLERY where French artist Juliette Dumas was exhibiting two Life-size Whale Flukes. Exhibition title: ANGELS. Amasaki (who had just discovered the exhibition and walked into the gallery) was inspired to communicate and create sounds around and for the Whale Flukes..a magical encounter followed.


© Silas von Morisse Gallery, with permission form Juliette Dumas and Ami Yamasaki, 2018


Ami Yamasaki is a vocalist and multimedia artist from Tokyo. Her work is diverse and prolific, creating installations, performances, and films in a variety of settings, most recently as part of the performance “Sounds to Summon the Japanese Gods” at the Japan Society of New York. Solo performances include “Signs of Voices” (2016, Kyoto Art Center, Japan), “Voice, Boundary, Gravity”(2017, Cathy Weis Project),“Experimental Intermedia 2017”(played with Yasunao Tone, curated by Phill Niblock). She has participated in numerous group shows, including “Tokyo Experimental Festival 9” (2014, Tokyo Wonder Site, Japan), “Exchange-planting a seed” (2013, Aomori Contemporary Art center, Japan) and “Sonic City 2013 Liquid Architecture” (2013, RMIT, Melbourne, Australia). She frequently collaborates, working with Keiji Haino, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Yasunao Tone. She has lead workshops at The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan, Arts Maebashi, and Sapporo City Kojo School, as well as a variety of television and film appearances, including narration and voice for “MORIBITO Ⅱ” (NHK, 2017) and Hayao Miyazaki’s latest short film (Ghibli, 2017). She presented at TEDx Tokyo in 2016. In 2017 she was an Asian Cultural Council fellow based in New York City. In 2018 she is a residence artist at RhizomeDC in Washington DC and Asian Fellow of Asia Center of Japan Foundation in Philippines.




April 5 – 29, 2018

Dumas explores the formal properties and inherent meaning of forms of Nature. Drawing on historical precedents such as paleolithic paintings and Cézanne’s studies of the Montagne Sainte Victoire, her paintings are a study of the language of Nature, an attempt to understand an experience other than human.


Dumas subscribes to the terms of the Rio Negro Manifesto: “Integral Naturalism seeks to better understand the mysteries of Nature.(...) To practice this availability in relation to the natural given is to admit the modesty of human perception and its limits, in relation to a whole which is an end in itself.(...) Integral Naturalism is not only a militant attitude but also a spur for thought. (...). (It) calls for "the expression of a planetary consciousness”. (Restany and Krajcberg, 1978, 2013).


The paintings in the exhibition portray a species that was present on Earth 30 million years before us. They travel 16,000 miles every year, continuously swimming with half of their brain asleep while the other half is awake, all the while making sonic maps of the ocean floor. The generic name Megaptera (from the Greek mega-/μεγα- "giant" and ptera/πτερα "wing"), refers to their large front flippers. Each individual has specific scars and markings on their fluke (tail) resulting from attacks by predators, fishing gear entanglements, boat collisions, and the continuous thrashing through water.


For this series, Dumas prepares her surfaces with clay on paper mounted on canvas, allowing her to scratch into the layers, drawing by subtraction into the fresh “skin” of the painting. She then runs water over it, letting the process of erosion edit by destroying some of the work. 




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