Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba Biography

Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba was born in Tokyo to a Vietnamese father and a Japanese mother. Growing up and being educated in Japan and the USA, he earned his BFA from the School of Art Institute of Chicago in 1992 and then his MFA in the Maryland Institute, College of Art in 1994. Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba is now residing creating artworks in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

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For almost 20 years of working as a global artist, his works can be seen as culminations of memorial projects. In 2001, with his first underwater film project, Memorial Project Nha Trang, Vietnam: Towards the Complex – For the Courageous, the Curious and the Cowards shown at the 1st Yokohama Triennial, the artist comes into recognition in the international contemporary art world. Since then he has been commissioned to create the second underwater film, Happy New Year: Memorial Project Vietnam II for the exhibition series the MATRIX at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in 2003. He has continued to direct and film two other underwater films in the water of Japan with Memorial Project Minamata: Neither Either nor Neither – A Love Story, a memorial for the Minamata Disease patients and Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas: Battle of Easel Point – Memorial Project Okinawa, a memorial speaking of multinational history based in 1972 Okinawa (Japan, Vietnam, and USA).

From 2004-2007 in Laos, he created a film on the Mekong River titled The Ground, the Root and the Air: The Passing of the Bodhi Tree which brought his filming experience above water. Also in 2007, he returned to producing installation works with The Globe Project: Garden of Globes commissioned for his solo museum show at Kunstmuseum Luzern in Switzerland.

In that same exhibition, he began his on-going project Breathing is Free: 12,756.3, an attempt to physically experience world refugee crisis by running the diameter of the earth, 12,756.3km. Up to now, he has run approximately one-fourth of the total distance culminated through 17 different cities in the world.

His works are often generated from multiple landscapes of thoughts combining unlikely, sometimes a bit surprising mixture into existing context of local history and issues. In his most recent film from 2013, The Master and the Slave: Inujima Monogatari filmed at Inujima island in Setouchi, Japan, he attempts to survive Inujima’s history with Japan’s national sport of baseball played inside the last stone quarry of the island. A batter and a pitcher confront each other, but with a romantic endeavor of hitting the stones out from the island to the mainland Japan.

Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba has exhibited in numerous international triennials and biennales including Venice, Istanbul, Sao Paulo, Sydney, Shanghai, Yokohama, and Guangzhou.

One can also find his works in public collections at Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in NY, Mori Art Museum in Tokyo as well as many more museums, foundations, and private collections in the world.

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