Beijing-based artist Sun Xun has been selected as the second artist to present the Audemars Piguet Art Commission. Sun Xun will collaborate with the commission’s guest curator Ruijun Shen and Audemars Piguet on the production of a major new artwork to be unveiled at Art Basel in Miami Beach, in December 2016.
Considered one of China’s most talented young artists, Sun Xun’s artistic practice combines meticulous traditional craftsmanship in various mediums with stylistic experimentation. 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 expressive, stop- motion animated films. These works are then presented in immersive settings, creating a theatre of memory for visitors filled with realistic and mythical iconography. Growing up in a time immediately following the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the themes of global history, culture, memory and politics have had a profound impact on Sun Xun’s work. With a particular interest in the way historical events are perceived and remembered, Sun Xun’s work explores concepts of past versus present and personal versus political in ways that are both symbolic and surreal. The artist was selected for his mastery of many interdisciplinary fields and highly experimental working methods which mirror the forward thinking and technical excellence inherent to Audemars Piguet’s watchmaking. Last year, Sun Xun was invited to Audemars Piguet’s home, in Le Brassus, Switzerland, to learn about the brand’s 140-year tradition of precision and expert craftsmanship. Still in the hands of its founding families, Audemars Piguet has been creating beautiful timepieces since 1875. ￼
Ruijun Shen, one of the younger generations of Chinese curators, proposed Sun Xun for the commission and will work alongside Audemars Piguet on the production and contextualization of the second Art Commission project. She has exhibited in and curated exhibitions at The Shanghai 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum, China, Guangdong Times Museum, China, Queens Museum, New York and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco. A defining aspect of the Audemars Piguet Commission is that it not only provides resources to realise new works, but also creates links to special expertise required to construct the new commission. In the case of Sun Xun’s 2016 work, for example, Audemars Piguet is working closely with the artist in securing the highest quality optical and projection devices necessary to realize the project.
In Miami, Audemars Piguet, in collaboration with Art Basel and Sun Xun’s galleries—Shangart Gallery (China and Singapore) Sean Kelly Gallery (New York) and Edouard Malingue Gallery (Hong Kong)—will present the work in the context of the artist’s wider body of work and host a series of special programs and events linked to the commission. Sean Kelly Gallery will feature works of Sun Xun on their booth during the Art Basel Hong Kong fair.
Olivier Audemars, Vice Chairman of the Board Audemars Piguet, said: “The Audemars Piguet commission seeks to explore topics of complexity and precision, in projects that demand the highest level of execution and skill. Sun Xun’s artistic practice, blending centuries-old artistic techniques with 21st century technology, is a perfect fit for the commission. All of us at Audemars Piguet are also delighted to collaborate with one of the most original representatives of this generation of Chinese artists.”
- Sun Xun ©Sun Xun Courtesy Rockbund Art Museum
- Portrait of Sun Xun, Photo by Jason Wyche; Courtesy of Sean Kelly, New York