Nurture Your Nature: Sun Xun at Art Basel

“Painting embodies the warmth of one’s emotions,” says artist Sun Xun, demonstrating his unique painting technique in settings that have personal resonance for him. From his Beijing studio, the artist explains his use of both historical and fantastical imagery in “Mythological Time” (2016)

Dear Laura,

In the midst of following Art Basel in Miami, I am reminded of how exciting and ridiculous the art world can be simultaneously.  We need to go experience this event at some point. I get suspicious when the art world turns into a popularity contest (scene for celebrity and overpriced art which only the wealthy can invest in- which an element of Art Basel is) rather than a fruitful experience of originality and ideas.  However, there are some exciting works that are getting seen by a lot of people that otherwise wouldn’t.  The New York Times has a good article Politics and Commerce Collide at Art Basel at Miami Beach.

One artist I wanted to draw your attention to is Sun Xun.  He uses traditional methods like drawing and woodcut prints and applies these to animation.  Another NYT article titled A Chinese Artist Consumed by the Idea of Inevitable Change is a good introduction to his work. “He’s talking about changing landscapes, urban environments, energy sources — all controversial topics — and expressing it artistically.” (Weng). Below is his commissioned piece for Art Basel.


You can read more about this installation HERE.

“I don’t believe in history books. I don’t believe in the news, whether it’s from America or Taiwan or Japan or Korea. This is why I travel so much,” he said. “I only believe what I see with my own two eyes. My art asks questions, and I just keep looking.” – Sun Xun


He is a wide-awake witness to the world in a similar manner as Norman Ackroyd and Edward Burtynsky ( previous letters).  I hope to do the same in my art and teaching practice.



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