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; and the Louis Vuitton Taipei Maison, Taipei. He has most recently exhibited his work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai; and The Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver. 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
Sun Xun
Fuxin, 1980

Current Exhibitions


Faurschou Foundation in Venice

10 May — 01 Sep
Presented by Faurschou Foundation, “Entropy” explores the works of seven Chinese contemporary artists: divided into seven sections, each dedicated to the work of one of the seven artists, the exhibition offers an insight...

Past Exhibitions


chi K11 art space 27/05/2018 — 25/08/2018

One World Exposition 2: #like4like

21/03/2017 — 20/04/2017

Sun Xun : Prediction Laboratory

Yuz Museum
19/11/2016 — 15/01/2017

Tales of Our Time

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
05/11/2016 — 10/03/2017


ShanghART West Bund
10/11/2016 — 15/02/2017

Solo Shows


Script Film, A Sun Xun Art Theater Residence Project, ShangART, Zeyi Movie Theater, Jianggan District, Hangzhou.
Stately Shadows, Centre for Chinese Contemporary art, Manchester, UK.


Brave New World, Edouard Malingue Gallery, Hong Kong, S.A.R. China.
Yesterday is Tomorrow, Hayward Gallery, London, UK.


Magician Party and Dead Crow, SUX Xun Residency Project, ShangArt Beijing, China.


Last Night, Platform China, Hong Kong, S.A.R. China.
The Parallel World, A4 Contemporary Art Center, Chengdu, China.
Undefined Revolution, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.
Sun Xun: A Footnote to Time, Wall/ladder/machine, New York, USA.
Republic of Jing Bang, STPI, Singapore, Singapore

Group Shows


Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.


China China, A Group Show of Chinese Artists, Pinchuk ArtCentre, Kiev, Ukraine.
The Garden of Forking Paths, Exploring Independent Animation, OCT Contemporary Art Terminal Shanghai.
Foundational Work, ShanghART H-Space, Shanghai

Contacts & Details

City of birth: Fuxin Country of birth: China Date of birth: 1980 Lives in: Beijing, China