Manchester’s esea contemporary welcomes internationally acclaimed artist and filmmaker Jane Jin Kaisen in her first UK solo show Halmang.

The exhibition sees Jane Jin Kaisen weave oceanic cosmology and landscape together to explore how modernisation erodes memory and loss.

Featuring recent work Halmang (2023), the exhibition intricately connects the show’s location, Manchester’s former Victorian fish market, and the artist’s ancestral ties to Jeju island, where her mother and grandmother made a living as a haenyeo sea divers harvesting seafood from the ocean.

Halmang offers an inquiry into multiple perspectives on displacement and gendered histories. Born on Jeju Island, Kaisen was adopted to Denmark at three months old. Returning to Jeju in her adult life, Kaisen engaged with the island’s genocidal Cold War history, its natural environment and enduring spiritual culture from a multi-layered, transnational feminist lens.

Accompanying screenings and archive materials of Jane Jin Kaisen’s research practice based on Jeju Island over a 10-year period will be shown alongside the film installation. 

Dot Zhihan Jia, Curator, esea contemporary said: “In presenting Jane Jin Kaisen’s work within the space of esea contemporary, we embark on a timely expedition of unfolding. Through Kaisen’s work, the once forgotten and the left behind resurface, generating a powerful narrative that transcends geographical boundaries and spans across generations.

“From the shores of Jeju Island to the heart of Manchester, her work acts as a timeless bridge, connecting disparate worlds and echoing the diasporic themes of longing and displacement. In these shared emotions, we find solace, connection, as well as each other.”

The exhibition will run from Sat 20 Jan – Sun 21 Apr and entry is free. You can find more information online here.

Sat 20 Jan - Sun 21 Apr, esea contemporary,
13 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1EU 
Bradley Lengden
Published on:
Fri 9 Feb 2024