Following his very successful exhibition at Victoria Miro gallery in London a few years ago, Ten Thousand Waves is Julien’s most ambitious project to date. Exploring ideas of death, life, and spiritual journeys, the new body of work takes inspiration from traditional Chinese ghost stories and establishes strong dialogues between the Shanghai of the past and present.
Displayed on Oscar Niemeyer iconic MAC of Niterói, Brazil, the nine-screen installation cements Julien’s collaboration with some of China’s leading artistic voices, including: movie star Maggie Cheung; rising star of Chinese film Zhao Tao; poet Wang Ping; master calligrapher Gong Fagen; artist Yang Fudong; and acclaimed cinematographer Zhao Xiaoshi among other talents. The film’s original musical score is by fellow East Londoner Jah Wobble and The Chinese Dub Orchestra and contemporary classical composer Maria de Alvear.
The narrative features spectral figures crossing time and space, leading the public through to the streets of Modern and Ancient Shanghai and guiding people through poetic episodes inspired by traditional Chinese culture. The work is a nod to the classic Chinese film The Goddess (1934).