Isaac Julien

Helsinki

May 25–August 12, 2018

Isaac Julien installation view.

Isaac Julien installation view.

Isaac Julien installation view.

Isaac Julien installation view.

Press Release

Ten Thousand Waves is an exhibition by the internationally acclaimed British artist Isaac Julien (b. 1960) that will feature in Galerie Forsblom’s main exhibition space and studio throughout the summer season. The installation is based on the Morecambe Bay tragedy of 2004, in which more than 20 Chinese cockle pickers drowned on a flooded sandbank off the coast of northwest England. The exhibition depicts unfinished journeys and the migration of individuals and masses across countries and continents. Julien also references legends from the Fujian Province, from where the Morecambe Bay workers originated. The footage was shot in old and new Shanghai, where Julien spent an extended period studying the local culture and history.

 

Julien poetically interweaves contemporary Chinese culture with China’s ancient myths. The work features many prominent Chinese artists including the famous actress Maggie Cheung in the role of the Maiden of Silence. The soundtrack in the studio space includes music and sounds fusing Eastern and Western traditions. The piece had its debut at the Venice Film Festival in 2010, after which it has appeared in numerous exhibitions around the world.

 

London-born Julien ranks among Britain’s most acclaimed artists. After graduating from St. Martin’s School of Art in London in 1985, he came to prominence as a filmmaker who blurs boundaries between art, film, and dance. He is a Turner Prize nominee and the winner of numerous art and film awards. His work is represented in the world’s leading art museums including Museum of Modern Art MoMA and the Solomon R. Guggenheim in New York and the Tate Modern in London. Julien was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2017.