John Haenle, Registrar chose The Time Vivarium - 76, 2014, by Sun Xun for #StaffPicksSaturday.
"Created on-site during Sun Xun’s gallery residency for the Time Vivarium exhibition in December 2014, this work has always struck a chord with me. Initially, I was drawn to the bold shapes and colors, the gestural mark making, the sense of these smaller parts and elements working together to create a harmonious thought and finished product. Then, as you start looking at it closer, and knowing that it is essentially a still from the Time Vivarium film that Sun Xun created, you begin seeing more and more movement in the piece. You begin to feel this being trying in vain to fly away–it’s really amazing how much motion he articulates in a static image.
Sun Xun is 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. Looking at this work from a broader angle, the image that it depicts--this kind of fantastical, stone-headed figure with a wing on it--embodies how a lot of people are probably feeling right now; bogged down as if their wings have been clipped, but still fighting against it and attempting to stay above it to live their lives. As we seek to find normalcy during this sedentary moment, this slowing down has also encouraged us to look inward. We will certainly all come away from the past few months with our own different perspectives and experiences, and it will be very interesting to see how these individual memories line up with how the history books depict these unprecedented times."