Isaac Julien is one of the most important artists working in the area of the moving image for over 25 years. His work incorporates different artistic disciplines, drawing from and commenting on film, dance, photography, music, theatre, painting and sculpture, and uniting them to create a unique poetic visual language in audio-visual film installations.

Julien was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2001 for his films The Long Road to Mazatlán (1999) and Vagabondia (2000). In the same year, he received the Eugene McDermott Award from MIT in Massachusetts, USA. He received the Grand Jury Award at the KunstFilmBiennale in Cologne, Germany for his work, Baltimore (2003).

Julien’s debut film, Looking for Langston (1989) won the Teddy Award at the Berlin International Film Festival. His feature film Young Soul Rebels won the Semaine de la Critique prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

In 1997 Julien received the Pratt and Whitney Canada Grand Prize at the 15th International Festival of Films on Art for Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask (1996).

His acclaimed 5-screen installation, WESTERN UNION: small boats (2007) depicts the journeys and stories of so-called “clandestines” who leave Libya to escape wars and famines, bearing witness to modernity’s failed hopes and dreams.

In 2008 Julien collaborated with Tilda Swinton on a biopic about Derek Jarman simply entitled Derek, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival the same year. His most recent work is a nine-screen installation, Ten Thousand Waves (2010), which was shot in China with Maggie Cheung, Zhao Tao and Yang Fudong.

Julien is represented in museum and private collections throughout the world, including Tate; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Pompidou; the Guggenheim Museum; the Hirshhorn Museum; and the Brandhorst Museum.

Issac Julien lives and works in London.


2018 Ten Thousand Waves Whitworth, Manchester, UK
2018 Playtime Gray Box Gallery at San Francisco Art Institute
2013 Waves (Ten Thousand Waves) The Margulies Collection, Miami, USA
2012 Ten Thousand Waves Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, USA
2012 Ten Thousand Waves Linda Pace Art Foundation, San Antonio, USA
2012 Looking for Langston Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, USA
2012 Ten Thousand Waves (9-screen) Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, USA
2010 Isaac Julien/Creative Caribbean Network Bass Museum, Miami, USA
2010 Ten Thousand Waves Victoria Miro Gallery, London, UK
2009 WESTERN UNION: small boats Museum Brandhorst Collection, Munich, DE


Victoria Miro
Helga de Alvear
Metro Pictures
Two Rooms
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery