All Exhibitions

High-Water Mark - Opening Reception

April 19 - May 26

Opening Reception: Friday, April 19. 5-8pm.
Art 'Round Town monthly art walk in Portsmouth: Friday, May 3. 5-8pm.
Free and open to the public.


High-Water Mark is a multimedia, regionally specific installation by Boston-based artist Yu-Wen Wu, curated by Kristina Durocher, Director, Museum of Art of the University of New Hampshire. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Wu’s family immigrated to the United States soon after the enactment of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. Her experiences as an immigrant have shaped the themes of her work: examining issues of displacement, movement, assimilation, culture and identity. High-Water Mark focuses on rising sea levels, storm surge flooding, and the projected displacement of people who live in the New Hampshire and Maine sea coast region. The exhibition video and a large-scale wall drawing represent the wanderings of someone new to the region, a visitor surveying the landscape, city, and its surroundings with fresh eyes – Wu is the proverbial migrant, making connections between natural and built environments, cultural systems, and seeing relationships between past and present that will help us navigate an unfamiliar ecosystem and an environment in flux.

While relying on hard data and scientific research practices, Wu’s visualization of data—video, maps, and graphs—is a metaphorical reading of a changing environment, incorporating filmed scenes of the tidal waters of the Piscataqua River, sites along the North and South Mill Ponds, coastal wetlands, and sky, emphasizing the aesthetic experience over narrative characteristics. Viewers will come away with an impression and awareness of the impact of rising sea levels on the Portsmouth region.


Artist Bio

Yu-Wen Wu:

Born in Taipei, Yu-Wen Wu is an interdisciplinary artist who explores the visualization of journey, process, and topography. Through drawing, video and installation, her work bridges art and science, imagination and documentation. Whether actual or virtual in traversing routes, mapping is the way Wu locates herself in the world physically, culturally, and psychologically. She attended Brown University, where she received a Bachelor of Science before attending the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. She received the Massachusetts Cultural/NEA Grant for Painting, 2004, 1998, 1989, and the Traveling Scholars Award, Fifth Year Competition, School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, 1989.


High-Water Mark was organized by the University of New Hampshire and curated by Kristina Durocher, Director, Museum of Art, supported by the UNH Arts Initiative. The UNH Arts Initiative is a donor-funded project that supports UNH arts programming in New Hampshire, taking the great art created in Durham to all corners of the State. Exhibition support provided by 3S Artspace.