Brian Jungen

Brian Jungen, Warrior 3, 2018. Image courtesy Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver

Brian Jungen, Warrior 3, 2018. Image courtesy Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver

Brian Jungen (b. 1970, Fort St John, British Columbia, Canada) lives and works in British Columbia. Jungen initially produced sculptures, working with everyday objects such as a pair of Nike trainers, to create museum-like anthropological artefacts. His current practice involves an increasing range of materials and techniques drawn from the cultural vocabulary of First Nations people. 

Brian Jungen carves ‘feathers’ from the soles of Nike sneakers to remake a series of Cheyenne-style war bonnets that were originally worn by warriors and important political and spiritual leaders. These colourful headdresses, familiar from countless Westerns in 20th-century American film, are now made to address a long history of conflict and the lingering effects of colonisation. They signify the strength and pride of indigenous people today. These works originated in 1998 with Prototypes for a New Understanding. Jungen’s visits to the Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum made him aware of the problems of presenting aboriginal cultures in that context. After observing the presentation of products in the hermetically sealed vitrines on his visits to Niketown in New York, he recognised the similarities between the museum and the retail context. For Liverpool Biennial, Jungen will bring these observations together and present new works in a group show alongside pieces by other First Nations artists such as Annie Pootoogook and Duane Linklater, reflecting on themes of indigenous culture, authenticity and cultural representation within an institutional context.

In 2002 he was the first artist to be awarded Canada’s prestigious Sobey Art Award. Recent exhibitions include National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2017); Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada (2013); 11th Shanghai Biennial, China (2012); dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany (2012); Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada (2011); Smithsonian Institute, National Museum of the American Indian, Washington DC, USA (2009); Witte de With, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2007); and Tate Modern, London, UK (2006).


Tate Liverpool
Albert Dock
L3 4BB