Ryoko Akama

QW5_Ryoko Akama_Garden Piece*

Please, send to the artist (info@ryokoakama.com) your Garden Piece video/sound recordings. The recordings will be part of Ryoko Akama’s project ‘Garden Piece’ shown on her website: https://ryokoakama.com/archives/works/gardenpiece2020

With QW5, QW6, QW7 the first cycle of the series Quarantine Workout ends, responding, after the experience of lockdown, to a phase of gradual rediscovery and re-appropriation of habits and perceptions.
For this episode, we involved Ryoko Akama, Fabio Perletta, Salomé Voegelin to compose different contributions, created between May and June. In line with their own practices, they responded to the proposal launched by Nicola Di Croce in the notes for a participatory score, presented in QW4.

This new set of scores is a suggestion to share and give value to being in presence, to experiencing spaces, different perceptions and times. The scores invite to a workout aimed at reactivation within a collective situation: to imagine our personal idea of garden, to look for it in the experience of our surroundings rather than in what already has the preconceived construct of what a “garden” is, then record and share it online in order to compose a choral work, collected by the artist; to meet the limits of the attention within the space of a page as in the space of a silent moment, to let expectations go; to use listening as a strategy of engagement with the reality of a hug, remembering its smell, touch, feel, making it sound, drawing it, sharing it, reflecting upon how what we’re used to conceive as an intimate and private gesture between two people can at the same time be a moment of collective interconnection.


Ryoko Akama/ JP 

She works with installations and sounds who approaches listening situations that magnify silence, time and space. Her sculptural work engages with mundane objects and invisible energies such as magnetism and gravity, employing small and fragile objects such as paper balloons and glass bottles in order to create tiny aural and visual occurrences that embody ‘almost nothing’ aesthetics. She also composes text scores and performs a diversity of alternative scores in collaboration with other artists and musicians.


Garden Piece – 2020

With any device, record (video and audio) approx 10 min. still and listen. Send a video or a snapshot as a photo. Make one or many.*

1 In a process of the world lockdown easing out, in some places slowly and others almost back to normal,

2 In owning no ‘literal’ garden, the word ‘garden’ could have a much broader definition. It could literally mean a traditional garden, or ‘outside a window’, ‘scenery through a window’, ‘a daily walking path’, ‘flower pots in a kitchen’… whatever one defines as a ‘garden’. Use one’s imagination.

What is interesting here is not a quality or technical precision. You can use a smartphone, computer, camcorder, or anything, but try to be still, watch, listen and capture a ‘scene’.

There should be many ways, our individual ways, of living with nature – like how Maggi Hambling coined a word for Derek Jarman’s gardening aesthetics – Modern Nature.

house sparrow
wood pigeon
great tit
black bird

came to say hello at/around my garden in Almondbury village UK amongst the bluer sky since March. Had they been here already? Had I ignored their existence for 9 years of living in this village? I never know.

Even one adult hedgehog visited, seemingly dived into a small pond of 1 square metre, unfortunately already a corpse when found in the morning. Beautiful death, I must say. First time in my life, I touched her intricate and complicated quills and was able to scrutinise the face 10 cm close.

She now resides under a small stone tomb made behind our veg garden.

There are things more than what we see, in every moment. A Japanese proverb – The darkest place is under the candlestick – tells us that what we are looking for may well be right next to us.

Was it about anything? 


I am not sure, why don’t you tell me?

but if you ask me was it worth it? I’d say yes

good night, thank you

for your borrowed time (Derek Jarman, Kicking The Pricks)


Garden Piece – 2020