Themes of tradition, cultural identity and the fate of displaced communities are explored in the first major UK exhibition by Nguyen-Hatsushiba.
Manchester Art Gallery
Saturday 23 February 2008–Sunday 1 June 2008
Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba is one of the most exciting Asian artists to have emerged in recent years. This retrospective was his first major UK exhibition.
The exhibition brought together an outstanding selection of the artist’s work, which included a large-scale installation The Globe Project: The Garden of Globes (2007). Further new works were featured, including a film The Ground, The Root, and the Air: The Passing of the Bodhi Tree (2007) and a new specially commissioned print for Manchester.
Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba is probably best known for his mesmerising underwater films depicting divers as they perform a traditional Chinese dragon dance in the sea; as they paint portraits underwater, and local fishermen pulling rickshaws along the seabed.
In these films, as in much of his work, references are frequently made to the artist’s Asian heritage, exploring themes of tradition, cultural identity and the fate of displaced communities. The films are dream-like works which inspire both simple, sensory responses and yet are also permeated by an explicit and dark symbolism.