Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba "The Ground, the Root, and the Air"(TOKYO)

1 September - 6 October 2007

Mizuma Art Gallery is delighted to announce Jun Nguyen-Hatsushibaユs The Ground, the Root, and the Air, his 4th Mizuma Art Gallery solo exhibition.


Born in 1968, in Tokyo, to a Japanese mother and Vietnamese father, Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba spent his early years in Japan. After moving to U.S.A., he earned MFA from the Maryland Institute, College of Art, Mount Royal School of Art. Currently, he resides and works in Ho Chi Minh City. His subject matter is stories of minorities, prisoners of circumstances, and refugees excavated from history; especially with his Memorial Project series.


The exhibition consists of two most recent projects both shown for the first time in Japan and takes part in two locations of Mizuma Art Gallery, 2nd and 5th floor.


“Breathing is Free: 12,756.3” is the most recent episode of “Memorial Project” series, where the artist attempts to run the distance of 12,756.3 km (the diameter of the earth), the shortest distance to the other side of the planet. At the current running pace of the artist (he is training to become faster), the total distance will accumulate as the artist runs through cities of various countries over the estimated period of next 6 years. “It is my reflection and offering to the refugees whose lives are to run or to perish… And this is what I see as the desire of refugees running away from their circumstances; they want to be on the `other side` instead.”


The project was started in spring 2007 in Geneva where historically many peace talks are held. However there are still overwhelming number of displaced individuals in many places of the world. The crisis seems to continue to escalate. As the project continues, we can expect to see Nguyen-Hatsushibaユs ideas unfolding many chapters buried in history. In this exhibition, for the first chapter of the project Breathing is Free, “earth drawings” created from his running paths recorded via GPS will be shown along with sketches of planned runs and video of his running. Flower will be the theme of the image. “Flowers can speak of many emotions and ideas such as death, love, happiness, joy, romance, tragedy, suspense, friendship, mystery… and we seem to offer flowers to share our concerns.


The world premiere of Nguyen-Hatsushiba’s film work “The Ground, the Root, and the Air: The Passing of the Bodhi Tree” (2004-2007) is created as a result of three visits to the city of Luang Prabang, Laos. Thanks to a community-based art and education project The Quiet in the Land, initiated and developed by a curator France Morin, 50 students from Luang Prabang School of Arts and Crafts collaborated in the film. 


This is the first solo show in five years at the gallery by Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba who maintains energetic activities. He has had a solo exhibition at Museum of Art Lucerne, Switzerland until August 26 and it will be traveling to Manchester Art Gallery, U.K. from February 2008.