Current Art Gallery Exhibition
"Metaphysically Yours -
Bruises Under Conscience"
Sep.7 - Oct.9, 2022
Artist Reception: Friday, Spet. 10, 6-8pm
"Metaphysically Yours Remembering the News" ,31.5” x 47.25”, 2022
Mizuma & Kips Gallery is pleased to present a solo show by Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba titled Metaphysically Yours - Bruises Under Conscience from September 7th to October 9th.
The previous photographic series While I am Dead - A Prelude to Life shown at Mizuma Art Gallery in Tokyo illustrated a symbolic viewpoint of his conscience as a cycle of life and death; his works metaphorically reflecting the artist’s feelings of dissociation from everyday life during his seven-year hiatus from the art world. His illustrious career as an artist, met with world wide recognition for his conceptual work as he participated in numerous Biennale and Triennale exhibitions around the world came to an end with the move from Vietnam to his current home in Houston, compelling him to relive his late father’s legacy as an immigrant and an American parent, and embodying his father in a transcendent state of past-life. For this upcoming exhibition in New York displayed at the starting section of the gallery, we present a continuation of this series as a prelude to the show.
The main works in this exhibition include large monochromatic images, serving as a photographic survey of artist’s daily encounters in Houston and continues the artist’s contemplative journey of the conscience. Moreover, this series share fragments of his daily accounts of living the transitional tidal wave of the American political culture; his works addressing the broader issues of the current USA, as well as questioning as to what it means to be an American in the current state of the country. Many of the populace may acknowledge the recurrence of grim news in the past several years; from inflation, global warming, war, mass shooting, racism, abortion issues, misinformation to pandemic. Everyday is an onrush of news on the media of two beliefs in opposition; a saturation of political ideologies which has become ingrained into our daily lives. For Nguyen-Hatsushiba, he states that the events seen on the news and social media have significantly affected his perceptions on everyday life. The works in this exhibition show a reflection of Jun’s altered state of mind, and takes the viewers through the lens of the artist’s perspective, distorted by a filter of current worldwide issues.
The largest work in the exhibition comprises of a video work projected onto a wall, giving coverage of one of the widest sections of the gallery space, and it is themed solely on cabbages. The video entitled Bruises Under Conscience, is the only work in the show which uses color; the color pallet being in-between the spectrum of blue and red, signifies the two colors of the US political parties. The video work also includes sliced side view of the insides of cabbages placed carefully side-by-side, revealing the “grains” of the individual leaves in a complicated pattern which spread out like a network of maze; strands wind out in a chaotic ripple, yet somehow are all connected at a core.
Nguyen-Hatsushiba says that sometimes it is easier to forget the similarities and only see the differences. In some ways, the photographs function as a satire of the current affairs around the world and especially of America. However, it can be said that by leaving out the colors and working in black and white, the true purpose of these works is to leave aside the biased viewpoint of different ideologies, and place us on a same neutral ground. There the works flourish into something profound. As the title of the show implies, there is a message from the artist, which is to reconsider our attitude towards each other and to strive towards deeper understanding with everyone, no matter how bruised we may be. Only then can we reach a deeper level of conscience that leaps beyond ideological and racial indifferences to be metaphysically connected.