Sun Xun

b. 1980, Fuxin, China

Sun Xun was born in Fuxin in 1980, he lives and works in Beijing. Sun works with a wide range of artistic techniques including woodcuts, ink painting, animation, sculpture, watercolour and film, which he uses in order to explore the complexity of recording history.

Historical accounts always exist in several versions. As a child, Sun listened to stories about the oppression his family had been exposed to during the Cultural Revolution in China, which contrasted starkly with the official glorification of the same period. The artist often uses existing images and artistic styles as a point of departure, and combines them to form intricate visual narratives with references to both the historical propaganda art and traditional Chinese ink paintings. Sun’s work addresses history and politics in a symbolic and surrealistic manner, and animals and insects often serve as the protagonists instead of people.

Requiem consists of a video animation and several paintings that present motifs such as construction sites, bloodsucking mosquitoes, Tiananmen Square, motorways and surrealistic scenes, where the world seems to be turned upside-down. Several of the motifs can be interpreted as an exploration of China’s rapid urbanisation process. Traditional neighbourhoods and modern skyscrapers stand side by side. The animated film consists of thousands of painted pictures. Several of the motifs in the film can be recognised in the pictures hanging on the walls. The character of the “Magician” often appears in Sun’s work, and he is a figure who represents a politician. He seduces the audience with illusions that are actually lies. The film is accompanied by a sound track in which excerpts from Mozart’s Requiem create a gloomy atmosphere.


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