Photo Credit: NIU Chun-Chiang

Nung-Hsin Hu

“Pressure Test” video still image
“Pressure Test” video still image
18th Street Art Center studio space
“There is no longer such a place as home” work in progress
“Venaissance” working group meeting
“Incurable Nostalgia” video still image
“The Texture of Home” drawing image
“Incurable Nostalgia” solo exhibition installation process
“Dinner Party Conversation” virtual opening event

Nung-Hsin Hu

Location USA / Los Angeles
Residency 18th Street Arts Center
Year of the Grant 2020
Personal Website Nung-Hsin Hu's Personal Website
Nung-Hsin Hu's Personal Website
Nung-Hsin Hu is a Taiwanese-born U.S.-based interdisciplinary artist. She holds a master's degree in Fine Arts from Long Island University, New York, and has worked at Queens Museum, New York. The artist interweaves video, sculpture, performance, analogue film, and installation in her practice to demonstrate her works' diversity. Hu is often inspired by her international residency experience in Brazil, Berlin, Iceland, The Arctic…etc. Her current projects utilize analogue film combining traditional and direct film-making techniques to address a sense of loss, archive the ephemeral, and discuss the subjects of time and memory.

Hu has exhibited and been awarded widely in Taiwan and abroad, including Queens Council on the Arts: New Work Grant, New York in 2017 and 2019; National Culture and Arts Foundation of Taiwan New Work Grant in 2020. Exhibitions including "The Hours After" in 2021 Singapore Art Week, solo exhibition "Incurable Nostalgia": 18th Street Arts Center Olympic Campus, Los Angeles, 2020; "Common Ground Project volume 1": Now&After Video Festival, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Transcultures – Media & Sound Arts Center, Belgium in 2020.

Artist Statement:
In 2020, I participated in the 18th Street Art Center (18SAC ) artist residency program in Los Angeles, California which is one of the top 20 residency organizations in the U.S.. Los Angeles is also one of the very few cities that still has a rich collection of analogue film resources. Therefore, I intended to visit and research film-related organizations during my residency to enrich my film projects. However, under the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, the physical visiting plan was canceled. I, instead, connected with other artists through virtual events.

In the face of the epidemic, the art center was still trying its best to arrange various activities for artists in residence, including the "Creative Roundtable" online conversation initiated by the resident artist Sara Daleiden. The roundtable held lectures and workshops 2-4 times per month for artists to interact with external curators and other arts professionals. Artists could also use this opportunity to present their works or develop collaboration projects.

In addition, the 18SAC arranged "Zoom Studio Visits" one-on-one online studio visits providing the invited guests to visit artist studios through online platforms. Although it was difficult to identify the size and material of the artworks through the camera, it somehow increased in-depth communication with the curators. Overall, I participated in five online studio visits including with the curators of the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, Torrance Art Museum, California, and Marathon Pictures.

Besides online activities, I also participated in the "Vesnaissance" working group in Venice Beach, Los Angeles. This working group is formed by one of the 18SAC residency artists Sultan Sharrief with local Venice residents, activists, and some unhoused members. "Vesnaissance" is dedicated to seeking ways to integrate the local community with the 400 homeless who came to Venice Beach for refuge due to the epidemic. For this purpose, we designed the "Planter Box" (portable planting box) to serve as a food source and storage for personal belongings for the homeless. I joined the group for four months, and the experience expanded my perspective about the meaning of “home”. Several of the Vesnaissance members also participated in my "There Is No Longer Such a Place as Home '' film project.

During my residency, I utilized “nostalgia” as the main subject and created projects that reflect this, as well as my current status after losing my childhood home and the processes of rethinking and searching for the meaning of home. I also incorporated the “collective grief” experience under the pandemic era.

I have completed several projects which are part of my solo exhibition at the Atrium Gallery in the 18th Street Art Center, including two-channel videos "Pressure Test," and "Incurable Nostalgia," a 16mm film loop installation "There Is No Longer Such a Place as Home" , a drawing "The Texture of Home," and mixed-media installation "Half Moons." On the opening night, I held a virtual dinner conversation with the director of exhibitions and programs at the Queens Museum, the co-founder of the Contemporary Art Museum in Guatemala( NuMu), and the assistant curator at the 18SAC.

It was a great opportunity for me to have this three-month-long residency at the 18th Street Art Center. Working in a spacious studio and connecting with other artists gave me great inspiration and released my pressure and concerns under the epidemic. 18SAC continued to support artists in various ways during the epidemic, which indicated the value of the residency program to its artist communities.