Ten sounds I cannot hear

Split between two countries, Aishwarya Arumbakkam uses her practice to maintain a close connection with her family back home in Chennai, India. Pained by this physical separation, she utilizes her work to diminish the presence of distance, and to lengthen the time she has left with aging loved ones. Through an arrangement of photography, video, printmaking, and drawing, Arumbakkam’s work addresses the complex experience of immigration, as well as the obstacles faced when attempting to preserve meaningful relationships with loved ones from afar. Using the ambiguities and irregularities of online imaging, Arumbakkam explores the space between seeing and not seeing, touching and not touching, being present and being out of reach. Through this tension, Arumbakkam conveys her own guilt and agony over starting a new life halfway around the world. Yet, through touching moments of vulnerability and sincerity, she strengthens the bonds with those she has left back home.


As installed at The Visual Arts Center, Austin, 2022
Exhibition text by Devon Gerstenhaber, Installation images by Alex Boeschenstein

1. AMMA BREATHING, 2020-22. Black and white. 2:11 min
2. AMMA IN BETWEEN, BREATHING, 2022. Sound. 4:38 min
3. TRIPTYCH 2 AMMA, 2020-22, Intaglio on paper. 18 x 12.5 inches each, three panels, Edition 8 + 2 A/P
4. AMMA’S CHEST, 2020-22, Intaglio on tissue. 25 x 18 inches, Edition 8 + 2 A/P
5. LINES (19/06/2020 to 14/08/2020), 2020-22, India Ink on paper. 17 x 11 inches each
6. TRIPTYCH 1 APPA, 2020-22, Intaglio on tissue. 25 x 18 inches each, three panels, edition of 8 + 2 A/P
7. APPA IN BETWEEN, SLEEPING, 2020-22. Black and white. 11:12 min (loop). 4 x 7 inches
8. APPA WALKING, 2020. Hand-drawn animated film with sound. 56 sec (loop)

Using Format