Sun Xun | Brave New World

[13.05.14 - 05.07.14]

Edouard Malingue Gallery is thrilled to announce the solo exhibition of Sun Xun (b. 1980, Fuxin, China) entitled ‘Brave New World’, which will feature the exciting new animation film ‘What happened in the year of the dragon’ (2014) and an immersive installation. Created exclusively for the show and presented for the first time, the film – which carries the show’s title – will be screened alongside drawings and installations that collectively present a response to Aldous Huxley’s 1932 seminal text and considers its contemporary incarnations. A graduate from the Printmaking Department of the China Academy of Arts in Hangzhou, Sun Xun was a professor at the prestigious Academy before founding in 2006 his own Animation Studio, entitled π. His work primarily involves making images using various materials such as colour powder, woodcuts and traditional ink, and collating these to produce a film, which is often presented in an immersive setting. Sun Xun is not to be simply categorised as an animation artist, though – his art goes beyond production and acts as a theatre of memory, replete with shuttering sequences and jarring juxtapositions of surrealistic and recognisable images, which mutually serve to scrape the uncontested surface of politicised truth.

‘Brave New World’ reflects and condemns how the predicaments outlined in Huxley’s ominous text have become a reality. An illustrious writer, Brave New World was Huxley’s most enduring work in which he imagined a fictional future where free will and individuality have been sacrificed in deference to complete social stability. A work that combined the writer’s skill for satire and his deep-rooted fascination with science, Brave New World envisaged – or indeed even warned – of a dystopian world, in which a totalitarian government controlled society through the use of science and technology, one was part of an extreme consumerist society, and there was an incompatibility between happiness and truth. Huxley, whilst creating a notorious tome, effectively cautioned readers of the dangers of an all-powerful State; a premonition that, through his work, Sun Xun is stating has actually become a reality.

Consider, for example, Huxley’s vision of complicated entertainment machines: ones that would generate both harmless leisure and high levels of consumption and production, which in turn would form the basis of the World State’s stability. Sun Xun remarks and evinces in his exhibition that today these dystopian ‘ideals’ have become a reality, where rather than reading a book replete with independent thought, contemporary individuals tune in to watch meaningless TV that distracts their mind and deletes their impartial thoughts. Ironically, and as a deliberate response, Sun Xun presents a film entitled ‘What happened in the year of the dragon’ (2014). But unlike those blasé channels of entertainment pumped by production houses, it comprises a series of individual images that are questioning, reflective and, most importantly, stir independent thought. Sun Xun has thus turned on its head the 21st century tactics of information ingestion to gain our attention and, in turn, deliver us intellectually from our flat unquestioning nonchalance. The ultimate result is then not so much a film, as we have come to recognise it, but rather a manuscript – an interactive visual work of authorship.

Combined with installations as well as drawings, the gallery space will thus go beyond being a site for placid contemplation and be pivotally changed into a milieu for you to be engaged, politically or other. Sun Xun’s work purposefully stimulates us to think, and urges us to do so in a public environment; it responds to a critical need within our contemporary society to be actively and consciously present. Sun Xun achieves this, however, not by pointing to current events but rather by presenting a series of characters that seem to have existed in times past. Consider, for example, his top-hatted and straight suited magician. The locations, furthermore, seem to be of elsewhere: some mnemonic nightmarish milieu. Indeed, the scenes and sites are not attributable to places you would recognise, but rather seem to stem from some dark fictional narrative. Within this portrayal, however, lies the true wonder in Sun Xun’s works, for he is able to create a relevant fiction, one that brings you into another world, yet presents a vivid undercurrent that prompts reflection into the world you currently live in.

Overall, ‘Brave New World’ provides a challenging response, not far from a century later, to the predictions made by the literary master Aldous Huxley. Primordially, it prompts an active and engaged consideration as well as an awakening vis-à-vis what is taking place in our society and how we – as supposedly sophisticated liberated people – ‘are’. Is our existence really ours, and is our history really one that we’re making? Or are we allowing it to be simply, and ignorantly, constructed for us?

Sun Xun is widely considered one of China’s most talented rising artists. He was awarded in 2010 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 Hayward Gallery (London), Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), The Drawing Center (New York), Kunsthaus Baselland (Basel), A4 Contemporary Arts Centre (Chengdu), Minsheng Art Museum (Shanghai) and the Louis Vuitton Taipei Maison (Taipei). He has also been included in numerous significant group exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Skissernas Museum (Lund), Times Museum (Guangzhou), Jordan Shnitzer Museum of the Moving Image (New York), Minsheng Art Museum (Shanghai), Kunsthalle Bern (Bern) and Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (Taipei), amongst others. Furthermore, his video work has been widely exhibited at film festivals around the world, from Germany and Austria, to Sweden, South Korea, Brazil and Iran.

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(040)  misty clouds scattered colours


Crown Buildings, 57-59 Victoria St., Liverpool, UK, [28.09.17 - 30.09.17]

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(039)  Sun Xun

'1st Anren Biennale', Biennale

Anren, Chengdu, China, [01.10.17 - 10.01.18]

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(038)  Sun Xun

'Ballade, Animamix Contemporary Art', Group Exhibition

Macao Museum of Art, Macao, [14.07.17 - 15.10.17]

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(037)  Sun Xun

'Luther and the Avantgarde', Group Exhibition

Old Prison, Wittenberg, Germany, [19.05.17 - 17.09.17]

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(036)  Sun Xun

'Sun Xun, Gao Yuan, Henry Coombes', Group Exhibition

Telescope, 10 CaoChangDi, Beijing, China, [27.05.17 - 30.07.17]

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(035)  Sun Xun

''Time Spy'', Screening

Times Square, New York, USA, [01.07.17 - 31.07.17]

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(034)  Sun Xun

'The Exhibition of Annual of Contemporary Art of China 2016', Publication

Beijing Minsheng Art Museum, Beijing, China

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(033)  Sun Xun

'Chine, Art en Mouvement', Group Exhibition

Château d'Annecy, 1 place du Château, 74000 Annecy, France, [01.06.17 - 02.10.17]

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(032)  Sun Xun

'The Drama in Animation, Chineseness and Generation Y', Artist Talk

Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre, City University of Hong Kong, [06.04.17]

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(031)  Sun Xun

'One World Exposition 2.1: #like4like', Group Exhibition

chi K11 art space, K11 Art Mall, [21.03.17 - 21.05.17]

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(030)  Sun Xun

'Rosa’s Wound', Group Exhibition

MOCA Taipei, 39 Chang-An West Road Taipei, Taiwan, [18.02.17 - 09.04.17]

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(029)  Sun Xun

'Get A Life', Group Exhibition

K11 Art Mall, Shanghai, [20.12.16 - 28.02.17]

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(028)  Sun Xun

'3rd Shenzhen Independent Animation Biennale', Biennial

Shenzhen OCT-LOFT, Kaiping St, Shenzhen, China, [02.12.16 - 02.03.17]

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(027)  Sun Xun

'Prediction Laboratory', Solo Exhibition

Yuz Museum, no. 35 Feng Gu Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai, China, [19.11.16 - 15.01.17]

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(026)  Edouard Malingue Gallery at Art Basel Miami Beach

'Art Basel Miami Beach', Art Fair

Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139, USA, [01.12.16 - 04.12.16]

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(025)  Sun Xun

'TALES OF OUR TIME', Group Exhibition

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue (at 89th Street), New York, NY 10128-0173, USA, [04.11.16 - 10.03.17]

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(024)  Sun Xun

'Doctrine of New Capital: Huang Yu Collection Exhibition (2007-2016)', Group Exhibition

Museum of Contemporary Art Chengdu, C1 East Bldg., Tianfu Software Campus, Tianfu Boulevard, Gaoxin District, Chengdu, China, [22.05.16 - 12.06.16]

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(023)  Sun Xun

'We Chat: A Dialogue in Contemporary Chinese Art', Group Exhibition

Asia Society, 1370 Southmore Blvd., Houston, TX 77004, USA, [26.03.16 - 03.07.16]

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(022)  Sun Xun

'62nd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen', Film Festival

Grillostr. 34, 46045 Oberhausen, Germany, [05.05.16 - 10.05.16]

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(021)  Sun Xun

Group Exhibition

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue (at 89th Street), New York, NY 10128-0173, USA

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(020)  Sun Xun

'Nonfigurative', Group Exhibition

Shanghai 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum, No. 1929 Shiji Dadao, Shanghai, China, [21.11.15 - 28.02.16]

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(019)  Sun Xun

'Bat Cave: Treasures of the Day and Creatures of the Night', Group Exhibition

Asia Society Hong Kong Center, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty, Hong Kong, [16.09.15 - 03.01.16]

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(018)  Chou Yu-Cheng, Sun Xun

'Asian Art Biennial 2015, Artist Making Movement', Biennial

National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, 2, Sec. 1, Wu Chuan W. Road, Taichung, 403 Taiwan, [06.09.15 - 06.12.15]

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(017)  Sun Xun

'Hetero-entity: Myths, Narration, Imagination', Group Exhibition

E Museum of Contemporary Art, Yuan Fu Xing Building, Binlang Road, Futian Free Trade Zone, Shenzhen City, Guangdong, China, [25.07.15 - 10.09.15]

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(016)  Sun Xun

'Thinking Currents: An Exhibition and Curatorial Platform', Group Exhibition

Seattle Art Fair, CenturyLink Field Event Center, 800 Occidental Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134, United States, [30.07.15 - 02.08.15]

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(015)  Sun Xun

'China 8: Tradition Today – Chinese Ink Painting and Calligraphy', Group Exhibition

Kunstmuseum Gelsenkirchen, Gelsenkirchen, Germany, [15.05.15 - 13.09.15]

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(014)  Sun Xun

'Garden Splendours: Chinese Contemporary Art', Group Exhibition

Suzhou Jinji Lake Art Museum, 1 Guanfeng Street, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China, [13.06.15 - 22.08.15]

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(013)  Sun Xun

'Unscrolled', Group Exhibition

Vancouver Art Gallery, 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6Z 2H7, [15.11.14 - 06.04.15]

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(012)  Sun Xun

'Social Factory', Biennial

Shanghai Biennale, Power Station of Art, 200 Huayuangang Rd, Shanghai, China, [23.11.14 - 31.03.15]

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(011)  Sun Xun, Talk, Asia Art Archive in America

'Talk', Artist Talk

Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue, New York City, [28.10.14 - 28.10.14]

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(010)  Sun Xun participates in the Field Meeting during Asian Contemporary Art Week, New York

'Field Meeting', News

Asia Society Auditorium, 725 Park Avenue Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue, [26.10.14 - 26.10.14]

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(009)  Sun Xun

'The Floating Cinema: Extra-International', Film Festival

Granary Square, London, [11.07.14 - 14.07.14]

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(008)  Sun Xun

'My Generation: Young Chinese Artists', Group Exhibition

Tampa Museum of Art and Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Florida, USA, [07.06.14 - 28.09.14]

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(007)  Sun Xun, SiGNS Festival 8th Edition, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India


[28.05.14 - 01.06.14]

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(006)  Sun Xun

'Yesterday is Tomorrow', Solo Exhibition

Hayward Gallery Project Space, Southbank Centre, London, [16.01.14 - 23.02.14]

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(005)  Sun Xun

'Ink Art: Past and Present in Contemporary China', Group Exhibition

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street) New York, NY 10028, United States, [11.12.13 - 06.04.14]

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(004)  Art Stage Singapore 2012

Art Fair

[12.01.12 - 15.01.12]

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(003)  Hong Kong Art Walk



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(002)  CIGE China International Gallery Exposition 2011


[21.04.11 - 24.04.11]

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(001)  ART TAIPEI 2011

Art Fair

[26.08.11 - 29.08.11]

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