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b. 1980

Sun Xun - Artists - Sean Kelly Gallery

Photo by Peng Peng

Considered one of China’s most talented rising young artists, Sun Xun’s artistic practice combines meticulous craftsmanship with stylistic experimentation not limited to any one medium. Blurring the lines between drawing, painting, animation and installation, his work incorporates a wide array of materials. Painting, woodcuts, traditional Chinese ink and charcoal drawings are often combined to create the foundation of expressionistic, stop-motion animated films. These films are then presented in immersive settings, creating a theatre of memory for the visitor, filled with realistic and fantastical iconography.

Sun Xun was born in Fuxin, an industrial mining town in northeast China, and grew up in the period immediately following the Chinese Cultural Revolution. The lingering aftereffects of this movement continue to have a profound impact on his work, which often explores the themes of global history, culture, memory and politics. He is especially interested in the way historical events are perceived and remembered by ordinary citizens versus how they are officially presented by public agencies and the media. Sun Xun’s work explores concepts of past versus present, personal versus political in symbolic and surrealist ways, often choosing to use animals and insects as the main characters of the story instead of people.

Sun Xun studied printmaking at the China Academy of Fine Arts, and founded Pi animation studio in 2006. In 2010 he was awarded the Best Young Artists award by the CCAA, the Young Art Award by Taiwan Contemporary Art Link and the Arts Fellowship by Citivella Ranieri Foundation (Italy).

Sun Xun has held multiple solo exhibitions around the world, most notably at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; The Hayward Gallery, London; The Drawing Center, New York; the Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel; the A4 Contemporary Arts Centre, Chengdu; the Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai; Yuz Museum, Shanghai; Saint Louis Art Museum, U.S.A; Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia; and the Louis Vuitton Taipei Maison, Taipei. He has most recently exhibited his work at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai;  The Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver; Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany; Asian Art Biennial National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan; and Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Taipei. His films have been screened at numerous festivals worldwide, including, the 25th Torino Film Festival, Torino; the 8th Seoul International Film Festival, Seoul; the 53rd International Short Film Festival, Oberhausen; and the MECAL International Short Film Festival, Barcelona.

Sun Xun lives and works in Beijing, China.


April 10, 2018. Interview with White Rabbit Collection. 

July 13, 2017, Times Square NYC, Midnight Moment: "Time Spy" by Sun Xun

Sun Xun on 'Brilliant Ideas', Bloomberg, January 31, 2017

Sun Xun: Tales of Our Time, Guggenheim Museum, 2016

Sun Xun's Reconstruction of the Universe, 2016, to be unveiled at Art Basel Miami Beach 2016 for the second Audemars Piguet Art Commission. Courtesy: Audemars Piguet

In the frame with Sun Xun, part one, artnet, January 2015

In the frame: Sun Xun, part two, artnet, January 2015

Sun Xun: Special Printmaking Demonstration in The Astor Court of The Met Museum