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    Isaac Julien: Ten Thousand Waves

    Presented by at Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

    November 30, 2011 - March 4, 2012


    Isaac Julien: Ten Thousand Waves

    Ten thousand waves takes us to the shore
    Home will arrive under our feet

    —Wang Ping, The Great Summons

    Isaac Julien’s Ten Thousand Waves is an immersive, nine-screen video installation that interweaves three stories linking China’s ancient past and the present. The first story is inspired by the Morecambe Bay tragedy of 2004, in which 23 Chinese immigrant workers were drowned while gathering cockles at the seashore in England. The second is the Chinese legend of the ancient sea goddess Mazu, protector of fishermen and sailors, who is said to guide shipwrecked sailors safely to shore. The third is set in 1930s Shanghai and explores the 1934 silent film The Goddess (1934), one of the best known films of China’s cinematic golden age, which portrays the tragic life of a woman who became a prostitute in order to support herself and her son. Shot mostly in China, Ten Thousand Waves features well-known actresses Maggie Cheung and Zhao Tao, video artist Yang Fudong, poet Wang Ping, and venerable Chinese calligrapher Gong Fagen.

    With rich imagery that soars between the cold northwest coast of England, the buzzing rush hour of Shanghai, and the lush landscape of bamboo forest and stony mountains, Ten Thousand Waves represents a new form of filmic storytelling, as the three stories unfold across multiple screens

    Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

    100 Northern Avenue
    Boston, MA 02210

    Full map and directions

    Admission Info:

    $15 general admission
    $13 seniors
    $10 students
    FREE members and youth 17 and under
    FREE for all from 5 to 9 pm every Thursday for ICA Free Thursday Nights
    FREE for families (up to 2 adults accompanied by children 12 and under) on the last Saturday of each month with the exception of December.

    General Day and Time Info:

    Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 am–5 pm
    Thursday and Friday, 10 am–9 pm
    Saturday and Sunday, 10 am–5 pm


    The ICA does not have a parking garage, however there is affordable paid parking available in lots near the ICA.

    Accessibility Information: Currently, no accessibility information is available for this event.

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