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Art & Design Hyundai Motor and Tate Announce Opening of Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon

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Art & Design Hyundai Motor and Tate Announce Opening of Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon

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Art & Design 202310091700
Hyundai Motor and Tate Announce Opening of Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon

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  • Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon to open from October 10, 2023 through April 14, 2024 in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall
  • El Anatsui’s largest work to date consists of dynamic metallic sculptures staged in three acts, inviting viewers on a journey of movement
  • The Hyundai Commission is a part of an ongoing partnership between Hyundai Motor and Tate, confirmed until 2026 as the longest initial commitment from a corporate partner in the museum’s history
  • Hyundai Motor’s long-term partnerships represent company’s commitment to supporting art and collaborations that foster connections across boundaries within and beyond the art ecosystem
Hyundai Motor and Tate Announce Opening of Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon

SEOUL, October 9, 2023 – Hyundai Motor Company and Tate Modern today announced the opening of Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon as Tate Modern unveils a monumental sculptural installation created by artist El Anatsui. Thousands of metal bottle tops and fragments have been stitched together into three expansive abstract compositions. These undulating forms, which are the artist’s largest work to date, cut through the vast industrial space of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, reflecting on the expanse of human history and the elemental power of the natural world. Each sculpture refers to Anatsui’s interest in the movement and migration of goods and people during the transatlantic slave trade.


Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon is the eighth annual Hyundai Commission, a series of new, site-specific works by international artists in response to the unique context of Tate Modern’s iconic Turbine Hall. Staged in three acts, viewers are invited on a journey of movement through Anatsui’s dynamic metallic sculptures.

Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon Installation View at Tate Modern
Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon Installation View at Tate Modern
Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon Installation View at Tate Modern
Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon Installation View at Tate Modern
Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon Installation View at Tate Modern
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Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon
Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon Installation View at Tate Modern
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Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon Installation View at Tate Modern Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon Installation View at Tate Modern Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon Installation View at Tate Modern Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon Installation View at Tate Modern Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon Installation View at Tate Modern
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The first hanging, titled ‘The Red Moon,’ resembles the majestic sail of a ship billowing out in the wind, announcing the beginning of a journey across the Atlantic Ocean. Red liquor bottle tops form the outline of a red moon, or ‘blood moon,’ as it appears during a lunar eclipse. The second sculpture, titled ‘The World,’ is composed of many individual layers that evoke human figures suspended in a restless state. The ethereal appearance of these figures is achieved using thin bottle top seals wired together to create a net-like material. When viewed from a particular vantage point, these scattered shapes come together into a single circular form of the Earth. In Anatsui’s final hanging, ‘The Wall,’ a monumental black sheet of metal cloth stretches from floor to ceiling. At its base, pools of bottle tops rise from the ground in the form of crashing waves and rocky peaks. Behind its black surface, a delicate structure of shimmering silver is revealed, covered in a mosaic of multi-colored pieces. This combination of lines and waves, blackness, and technicolor, echoes the collision of global cultures and hybrid identities that Anatsui invites us to consider throughout his work.


Viewing all three hangings together from afar reveals a landscape of symbols: the moon, the sail, the wave, the earth, and the wall. Up close, the logos of the bottle tops speak of the material’s social histories, referencing a present-day industry built on colonial trade routes. The past and present of Africa and Europe converge into symphonic sculptural forms that hang in the air and appear to float across the space. Through the poetic use of material as metaphor, Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon explores elemental forces interwoven with human histories of power, oppression, dispersion, and survival.

This year’s Hyundai Commission by El Anatsui invites us to contemplate the ever-evolving global landscape, urging us to explore interwoven narratives that address broader planetary concerns. We envision Anatsui’s transformative storytelling to create meaningful discussions about our shared present and future.

DooEun Choi

Art Director of Hyundai Motor Company

El Anatsui, the artist of the Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon
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El Anatsui, the artist of the Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon
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El Anatsui was born in Anyako, Ghana in 1944 and has predominantly lived and worked in Nigeria. His highly experimental approach to sculpture embraces a wide range of forms and materials, including wood, ceramics and found objects. He has experimented with liquor bottle tops since the late 1990s and continues to push the medium’s boundaries in novel ways. Aided in his studio by dozens of assistants, Anatsui and his team work together to stitch and assemble his metallic hangings. Embodying Anatsui’s idea of the ‘non-fixed form’, the hangings fold easily in order to travel and appear different each time they are installed. Interested in the changing histories of the objects he repurposes, Anatsui fuses specific local aesthetic traditions with the global history of abstraction. His choice of materials embodies ideas that have shaped his career over several decades, including the evolution of human civilization, African decolonization movements, histories of migration and encounter, and life’s existential journeys.


Hyundai Motor’s ongoing partnership with Tate, confirmed until 2026, is the longest initial commitment from a corporate partner in Tate’s history. This partnership is founded around the shared commitment towards offering new ways to access, understand and experience art. In addition to the Hyundai Commission, the Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational, launched in 2019, is driven by this shared vision as it continues to challenge dominant art histories and highlight global exchanges of artists and ideas. Through its long-standing partnerships, Hyundai Motor aims to spark meaningful dialogue, cultivate empathy, facilitate collaborations and engage the entire art ecosystem.


Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon is in partnership with Hyundai Motor with additional support from the El Anatsui Supporters Circle and Tate Americas Foundation. It is curated by Osei Bonsu, Curator, International Art, and Dina Akhmadeeva, Assistant Curator, International Art, Tate Modern. The commission will be accompanied later this year by a new book from Tate Publishing.


Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon

October 10, 2023 – April 14, 2024, Tate Modern

In partnership with Hyundai Motor.

**All images must be accompanied by a credit line below and used only to illustrate an article or feature reviewing or reporting on the Hyundai Commission. Any form of treatment and use of images for front covers may attract a fee and will require the prior authorization of the owner and copyright holder of the work. Please contact Tate Press Office for such use: pressoffice@tate.org.uk

- Image Credit:

Images 1-3: Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon, Installation View, Photo ©Tate (Joe Humphrys)

Images 4-7: Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon, Installation View, Photo ©Tate (Ben Fisher Photography)


- Photo Caption:

Images 1-3: Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon Installation View at Tate Modern

Image 4: Artist El Anatsui

Images 5-7: Hyundai Commission: El Anatsui: Behind the Red Moon Installation View at Tate Modern

Hee Chon

Global PR Strategy & Planning · Hyundai Motor Company

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Disclaimer: Hyundai Motor Company believes the information contained herein to be accurate at the time of release. However, the company may upload new or updated information if required and assumes that it is not liable for the accuracy of any information interpreted and used by the reader.


About Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall

Since Tate Modern opened in 2000, the Turbine Hall has hosted some of the world’s most memorable and acclaimed works of contemporary art, reaching an audience of millions each year. The way artists have interpreted this vast industrial space has revolutionised public perceptions of contemporary art in the twenty-first century. The annual Hyundai Commission gives artists an opportunity to create new work for this unique context. The Hyundai Commissions are made possible by the long-term partnership between Tate and Hyundai Motor, confirmed until 2026 as part of the longest initial commitment from a corporate partner in Tate’s history.


About Hyundai Motor’s Art Projects

For over a decade, Hyundai Motor Company has deepened its partnerships with global museums and cultural organizations, including the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA), Tate, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and the Korean Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Hyundai Motor’s own art-initiatives include open call programs such as the VH AWARD, the Hyundai Blue Prize, and Artlab Editorial, a digital platform dedicated to art writing by transnational voices. Our ongoing collaborations embrace the complexities of the cultural landscape by exploring new ideas and perspectives within and beyond the art ecosystem.
Visit artlab.hyundai.com or follow @hyundai.artlab #HyundaiArtlab to learn more about our partnerships and programs.


About Hyundai Motor Company

Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Company is present in over 200 countries with more than 120,000 employees dedicated to tackling real-world mobility challenges around the globe. Based on the brand vision ‘Progress for Humanity,’ Hyundai Motor is accelerating its transformation into a Smart Mobility Solution Provider. The company invests in advanced technologies such as robotics and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) to bring about revolutionary mobility solutions, while pursuing open innovation to introduce future mobility services. In pursuit of sustainable future for the world, Hyundai will continue its efforts to introduce zero emission vehicles equipped with industry-leading hydrogen fuel cell and EV technologies.


More information about Hyundai Motor and its products can be found at:

https://www.hyundai.com/worldwide/en/ or Newsroom: Media Hub by Hyundai


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