Jun Nguyen-HATSUSHIBA (Ho Chi Minh City)

Memorial Project Nha Trang, Vietnam: Towards the Complex—For the Courageous, the Curious, and the Cowards, 2001, single-channel video, color, sound, 13′.(upper)

A woeful, beautiful poem memorializing survival in post-war Vietnam conveyed through an underwater performance by local fishermen propelling cyclos (or cycle-rikshaws) across the rock-strewn and sandy ocean floor. After the war, countless citizens fled by sea; for many who remained, pedaling cyclos became their primary means of livelihood, yet these vehicles, now deemed old-fashioned, have become a burden on the country’s image in its ongoing effort to modernize.

The Ground, the Root, and the Air: The Passing of the Bodhi Tree, 2004-2007, single-channel video, color, sound, 14’30”. (lower)

Influenced by the international markets of neighboring countries, China and Thailand, the quiet Buddhist society of Laos struggles to maintain itself in the midst of the ever-flowing Mekong River. Ambition for individual success continues to surge while traditional values and heritage wane. The stadium, lanterns, river, and Bodhi Tree symbolize the anxieties and hopes of this rapidly evolving society.

About the artist:

Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba’s works are often generated from multiple landscapes of thought, combining unlikely, sometimes surprising points-of-view into existing local histories and conflicts. His works are seen as culminations of memorial projects. Having worked for almost 20 years as an artist, he has exhibited in numerous international triennials and biennales including Venice, Istanbul, Sydney, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. His works can be found in public collections at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, as well as many other museums, foundations, and private collections.