Moving Perspectives: Jun Nguyen Hatsushiba and Fiona Tan

The lush landscape of Laos is the setting for a series of performances by art students from Luang Prabang in The Ground, the Root, and the Air: The Passing of the Bodhi Tree (2007), a single-channel video by Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba. The work culminates in a dramatic moment that captures the younger generation’s struggle to reconcile a rich cultural and religious heritage with the rapid currents of global economic and social change. The endurance of ritual in contemporary society is a starting point in Fiona Tan’s stunning video installation, Saint Sebastian. With careful attention to images and sound, Tan transports the viewer into a sensual experience of a centuries-old Japanese tradition that marks a woman’s coming-of-age. In so doing, she comments on the history of moving image and the role of the visual in shaping perceptions of “exotic” cultures.