AKI – MUSICIAN OF THE SHAMISEN

I met Akihiro Sakai on my way through the underground train heading downtown where I dropped off my card with a note on the back asking if he wouldn’t mind having his photograph taken as part of a story/series I am doing on artists. Shortly after I got a call from Take who was calling to translate for him… Aki only spoke on a few words in english.

I have been fascinated recently by my own process of the type of art I create, the environment in which it happens and the community that surrounds it. Hence my gravitation and intrigue by those that choose a stage where anyone can see, schedules are not dictated and earnings are unknown. Cultivating art without perameters can be truly liberating as I have found from my sculpture classes. As I turn my camera to Aki, I find that while watching him play the Shamisen and as I compose my shots, we form a synergistic wave that meets, matches and raises our collective artistry. It was so exciting to exchange creativity with another artist working in a totally different form.

Aki came from Japan with a one way ticket to San Francisco and $200.00 in his pocket. His goal… to make it to New York in one month to catch his one-way flight back to Japan. His first night was spent in Golden Gate park where he awoke to soaking clothes from the sprinkler system. This is when he went seeking help and meet up with Take who would house him for the next few weeks until he started his adventure hitch hiking across the US.

Here are some photos from our adventures the day we met up. It was a day to cherish as two random artists got to explore, share, understand, encourage and move together in a similar direction. Thank you Aki!

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