December 10, 2019

Seattle Art Museum Debuts New Installation by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Art & Object
December 10, 2019

SEATTLE, WA – The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) presents Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas: Carpe Fin (November 1, 2019–November 1, 2020), a new installation featuring work by the Vancouver-based Haida artist. The centerpiece is Carpe Fin, a 6 x 19–foot watercolor mural that is a major commission for SAM’s collection. Yahgulanaas describes its style as “Haida manga,” blending several artistic and cultural traditions including Haida formline art, Japanese manga, Pop Art, and graphic novels.

Created with watercolor and ink on handmade mulberry paper from Japan, Carpe Fin bursts with figures, landscapes, and action scenes inspired by a traditional Haida oral story: a sea mammal hunter goes in pursuit of food to feed his starving community and is taken underwater to the realm of a powerful spirit. Yahgulanaas refreshes the story for contemporary audiences with attention to issues of environmental degradation and the rupture of the values that honor human-nature interdependence.

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Image Credit:
Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
Carpe Fin (detail), 2018
Watercolor and ink on handmade Japanese paper
6.5 x 19.7 ft
Seattle Art Museum,