New Exhibition Nyugen Smith: “Thy Kingdom Come”Sunday, February 10th, 2013 Categories: Artist Talk, Exhibitions, Updates
Nyugen Smith’s mixed media paintings, found object sculpture and installation draws the viewer into a place that teeters between past and present in the once colonized Caribbean islands commonly referred to as the West Indies. For this exhibition Smith uses actual historical events and traditions as points of departure to examine folklore, religion, economics and community among the African descendants living in the the New World and their relationship with their former colonial masters. Each work is an organization of fragmented information acquired by the artist from literary sources, film, visual and performing arts, and oral traditions. Together they converge and present the artist as cultural anthropologist tenaciously excavating his ancestral past.
Opening reception for Smith’s ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ was held on Thursday, February 7th, 5-8pm. Performance and artist talk: Thursday, February 21st, 7pm at The Harold B. Lemmerman Gallery, Hepburn Hall, Room 323 located at 2039 Kennedy Boulevard, Jersey City, NJ. Gallery hours: 11:00 a.m. ‑ 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and by appointment. Gallery Director: Doris Cacoilo, (201) 200-2467. Phone: (201) 200-3246 and email:
With a fearless approach, multi-media artist Nyugen Smith embraces the role of cultural informer and champion of social justice. Drawing heavily on his West Indian heritage, Smith is interested in raising consciousness of past and present political struggles through his work which consists of sculpture, installation, video and performance. Growing up in Trinidad, Smith was profoundly influenced by the conflation of African cultural practices and the residue of British colonial rule encountered in his daily life on the island. Responding to this unique cultural environment, Smith’s art is a reaction to imperialist practices of oppression, violence and ideological misnomers.
In his practice Smith revisits such events as Belgian, Dutch, French and English occupations in Africa and the Americas, American reconstruction-era politics, racism and revolutionary movements. His performance and video pieces enable him to claim an authentic voice in challenge to historical inaccuracies, while exposing to audiences the concealed narratives that distort reality and evade truth. These investigations enable Smith to re-visit and question individual identity as well as past and present social orders. His interest in identity politics and social constructs has left an indelible mark on the global community as Smith seeks to redress historical misrepresentations, subjective politics and omissions of the truth. His fearless approach is informative, universal and humanistic. -Jeanne Brasille
For more information on Nyugen's practice visit www.nyugensmith.com