Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba will exhibit two of his latest film installations in the exhibit MATRIX 203: Memorial Project Vietnam at the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville November 6 to February 8. Nguyen-Hatsushiba creates lyrical, graceful and spellbinding films that explore Vietnamese history and identity. Raised in Japan and educated in the United States, the artist now lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City. An opening reception will be held Friday, November 14, from 4 to 6 p.m. and the public is invited.
The first film, Memorial Project Nha Trang, Vietnam: Towards the ComplexFor the Courageous, the Curious, and the Cowards, gained critical acclaim at the 2001 Yokohama Triennial contemporary art show. The film, a memorial to the boat people, records an elaborate underwater race by cyclo (bicycle taxi) drivers, a significant and threatened community in Vietnamese culture. A traditional mode of transportation, cyclos represent the old way of life. In response to legislation outlawing their use, Nguyen-Hatsushiba created this work as a gesture of solidarity with the drivers who struggle to hold onto their livelihood.
The second film, Happy New Year–Memorial Project Vietnam II, explores the Tet Offensive of 1968, a key event in modern Vietnamese history. The series of surprise attacks by North Vietnamese troops occurred during the celebration of the Lunar New Year, when both sides were thought to have laid down their arms to celebrate the countrys most important holiday.
Nguyen-Hatsushiba earned an M.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1994 and a B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1992.
The exhibition and tour of Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba’s Memorial Project Vietnam is organized by the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum. Generous support for the production of the exhibition is provided by The Rockefeller Foundation and the LEF Foundation.
Happy New Year–Memorial Project Vietnam II was produced by the MATRIX Program with assistance from the New Museum, New York. The MATRIX Program at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum is made possible by the generous endowment gift of Phyllis C. Wattis. Additional donors to the MATRIX Program include the UAM Council MATRIX Endowment, Ann M. Hatch, Art Berliner, Christopher Vroom and Illya Szilak, Eric McDougall, and Glenn and April Bucksbaum.
Support for the Colby exhibition of Memorial Project Vietnam has been provided by the Hanzer Art Fund.
Colby museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free, and the museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. For more information call 207-872-3228 or visit www.colby.edu/museum.