Ami and Amachi’s Artistic Residency Story

They are two young upfront designers from Japan. They came in search for inspiration for their new collection, delving into the territory of Vale de Gatos proper, the studio becoming a rich source of discovery, seeing, touching, feeling different materials, textures, colours, everything accorded the utmost attention, discretion, unperturbed in the lightness of gestures and looks, silences, barely visible, one culture and stance quite apart, a real apprenticeship. They further searched in the near and surrounding landscapes, amongst half ruins, marble quarries, small lakes or wide water spreads from dams, fields dotted with olive and cork trees, foraging for and registering in drawings, thoughts and feelings, until perfectly quenched.

Their next step was surprising, touched by the curiosity and desire to learn to spin and weave. In total silence they concentrated their eyes in Isabel’s gestures and words and, as if by magic, it all happened in the blink of a moment. Barely a shy joy showing in their eyes as wool turned into yarn and the intertwined yarn on the loom turned into weaving. Straw and small twigs slowly found their way into the weft and the warp, incorporating nature, the outside into the inside, in a gesture, an image overflowing with sensibility. Unforgettable silences and looks of enormous complicity. The feelings and spirit of the ones who left and those who remained undoubtedly richer…

And those who left in May came back in June.

Ami and Amachi, together with the technical and artistic team who accompanies them, made up of Jan (model), Go (photographer), Yuto (video producer) and Yuma (musician), came back to Vale de Gatos, in a unique move of artistic consistency enabling them to dress, photograph, film and compose the musical theme of their new collection in the very place where they drew their inspiration from and creation happened. They arrived with their luggage full with the visions of their attentive and truthful look, keen on reading, feeling and interpreting the place, swiftly scattering around the studio, with the feeling of finding themselves at home, coming and going at will, either up to the ruins or the nearby field or travelling to find the old wall of a convent in the village, or even the quarry or the farther-away dam at nightfall. Shapes, textures, colours, details, the result of a sensibility coming from such far away lands, who could shorten distances, bring together different ways of feeling, an experience unique for all those involved, worth sharing.