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12 + Contemporary International Experimental Filmmakers

Sun Xun:There are no standards in art. Author: Zhu Haijian 2007

I watched Sun Xun's animations in 2005 and see his Mosquito installations in Duolun Museum of Modern Art. Then i heard he teaches in China Academy of Fine Arts(CAFA).The lastest news is that he resigns the work in CAFA and sets his own studio.

Sun Xun comes from the northeast China.Now he is slightly fat,wearing glasses and almost bald.Like other northeast people,he is also loquacious."I study in CAFA
for almost 8 years.The total tuition is 77,200 yuan (4300?=17200,15000×4=60000) which is only for an indecent receipt---associate degree.It can help me remove my illiterate identity."Sun said.

Sun Xun studied in Printmaking Department of CAFA which allows him the free time and space to do something he likes.He finished his 8-years academic study in 2005 and become a teacher of CAFA.But recently he resigns his teaching job and becomes a professional artist.

When Sun was a freshman,he filmed his first experimental video work BaYa.In 2002,he finished his first full-length experimental animation work Genesis.After that,Sun brings us one or two new works each year.In his mind,there seems to be many pictures of lines,which relate to dream,reality and absurd scenes.So far there have been 10 works.All works of Sun Xun are about complicated histories.These histories come from Sun's memories from childhood or the effections of textbooks.Sun gets lost in histories and continuously look for frames of reference of our real existence.Sun's animations doubt our realities in rust smells.All his works are finished freehand as much as possible,trying to search for real delicacies in rough images.

Momentary Power was finished in Oct 2003.This is his first "real animation with active consciousness".More precisely,this is a start after he fully detemines his creative forms.The game between hands and locusts begins in an instant.So many troubling thoughts reproduce largely,hurt each other again and again.They also eat each other and evolve in this process.A moment allows reincarnation in the world.A moment is also a distance between a point and a line.

In 2004,Sun's larger ambition --- Utopia in the Day came into our eyes.Five moments of raving,five images in personal taste,skipping memories of personal histories and fantacies in personal utopia spread out in our lives.A sun in the dark night is swallowed by expanding whimsical sentiments which are contained in every unexpected seed.Policemen in blue uniforms,five-pointed stars,red color,podium,baton,illogical complex and everything is spinning wildly.

If you have followed each work of Sun Xun,you must be surprised in the scope,strength,space and creativity in his work.So far,Sun is the youngest one in the artists we introduced.

Shock of Time was finished last yeart."The memory is blank when shocking.The shock of time also can be read as a shock of histories."This work consists of old newspaper and journals about China.All the old news become the histories and we cannot get them back.Sun makes past histories become doubtful legends.The concept of histories in the mind of each of us is distorted either actively or passively.In Sun's views,history is the process of thinking,not the history itself.Though we have archaeology and museology,we still have many regrets when facing the histories.

After this,Sun makes 3 new works.Now he is busy with 21G.All lenses have original color dye sketches respectively,according with which every lense is realized.It will be finished next year.Sun said his ultimate dream is to make animation films,of course by hand drawing.


ART WORLD:When do you learn painting in a formal manner?Why you choose painting,whether because of your family?

SUN XUN:Maybe.My father is a five rating carpenter,of which he is very proud.He can finish carpentry work without any nails.If he makes a locker(old style),he usually paints some sceneries on it.So i am influenced to do some paintings and  calligraphies.When i was a little boy,my father forced me to write Rong Bao Zhai by standing behind of me with a broom.Now i realize why i was often beaten by father.I am a stretch of father's dream while my later style is different.I never paint any plum cock or tiger on a downhill.

ART WORLD:How do you come to Hangzhou for college study from Liaoning?The distance is far really.

SUN XUN:The middle school attached to Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts didn't recuit students in 1997.The middle school attached to Central Academy of Fine Arts should test maths and my math scores are less 100.So i applied to the China Academy of Fine Arts in Hangzhou which didn't test maths.

ART WORLD:What have you learn in your college?

SUN XUN:A spirit of freedom.You can insist on anything you like and make it out,then you can get supports.This attitude is very practical.Because there is no standard in art world.

I was very young when i got to middle school.What i only knew is to paint skeches tirelessly.But our teachers are very great.They let us to see many masters' picture books,such as Durer and Holbein.Teachers even give us the photos of original works.At that time,sketch is a relatively pure thing,not like these paintings for examinations today.I really learn much from sketches.Then i started to paint oil paintings.I indeed spent a crazy time in oil paintings.I often held salons and did't care the school rules.I were drinking Chamomile tea while listening to the rock music.All i had done is to p aint better.Now coming to think of it,i really miss those days.

When i came to college,i got acquaintance with Chen Xiaoyun and Lu Lei.I also learnt much from them.

ART WORLD:Why you choose printmaking as your major?There is much difference between animations and pintmaking.

SUN XUN:Every student who applys to China Academy of Fine Arts should write a summary about their art learning.I remembered the first sentence i wrote in it is "i don't like printmaking."Then i apply to printmaking department because i can get more freedom in it.At that time,i already knew something about contemporary art and there were some great people caming from printmaking department.So i thought this department must be very good.My teacher pointed to some plaster moldings on walls and told us they were not the art and if you wanted art,you must creat by yourself.I think her words are right even in today.The other teachers also did favors for their students.So they also supported me to do animations.I did animations in printmaking classes.Almost my whole time were devoted in animations.My work for graduation is my animations and manuscripts.Teachers didn't say my work was not qualified.

ART WORLD:When do you start moving images working?When do you set your own studio?

SUN XUN:My first film was finished when i was a freshman.Its name is BaYa,a novel of Hitchcock.It is a colorful film which contains animations.But it is very rough because i was too young at that time.

The exact time of doing real animations is participating in The Minority Is Subordinate to the Majority in BizArt gallery.Because many schemes were rejected and i really wanted to make a video but i didn't have any money,so i gave out an animation in the end.And it really got passed.It's called Genesis, which was painted on my body.

ART WORLD:Last time we interviewed Chen Xiaoyun and we felt it very interesting that there is a Images Group in Hangzhou.Does it influence you very much?

SUN XUN:We often work together and help each other.Every group has its own moving stories so that our life won't be boring.Everyone likes to participate in activities and different people can get different things.I think few people hear about Hangzhou Images,but we spent a great time together.

ART WORLD:Will you always make animations,have you consider other forms?

SUN XUN:Sure,i will always make animations,but i think everything has a possibility to become animations.I have many plans about animations while they all take much time.So i don't have enough time and energy to finish every plan.Recently i devote myself to my studio.Because every member of my studio needs time to get along well with each other so that we can work together more effectively.After this understanding of each member,i will devote more time on some animations.Because i am interested in space and locations,especially some unique environments in historical context.I expect my works can form some relations with these elements.In my works have already appeared installations or dramas.In fact,i myself don't know what will happen.Now i only think how to draw out animations in my mind.Because i have no more time so i just do some preparatory work.But now i can say that i will never join in the working for commercial animations.

ART WORLD:Will the media of your works be changed?

SUN XUN:I think it will.The present work and the work in preparing all use films.I am very attracted by the "lying machine"---movie projector.I will even use a movie projector as an element in my works.And i also fascinate in films,particularly the old films which bring me an intensive feeling of uncertainty.I like primitive feelings.What have been immersed in the time can produce a special power which comforts you deeply.

ART WORLD:We often see mosquitoes,magicians and dictionaries in your works.Do they have any special meanings?

SUN XUN:Yes.They almost appear in every work of mine.Magician is the only legal liar.Magic is the only lie which can escape from moral condemnation.Dictionaries are used to standardize our culture,which is the avatar of the authority.A dictionary is a criterion which will change slightly sometimes but people cannot easily see.I believe there are conspiracies behind these changes.In my works,maps also appear frequently.Maps of different times are different,so do dictionaries.We firmly believe them because we agree with different criterions in our life which can make us feel safe.While these criterions can transform into the authorities,such as museums,festivals,monuments and Greenwich Mean Time.I think even if people are in different times,they won't deny this reality.Authorities can change.Some changes are sincere which are washed by the time,but some are not which bring conspiracies.Mosquitoes spread diseases which make the viruses mutate.They always give us unexpected things when you least expect them to. Mosquito is a turning role in the narrative of my works.

ART WORLD:Can you tell us the preparation for the coming works?

SUN XUN:The new work mainly depend on shadows,which need a big searchlight on the top of the walls.The new work is about "heros"


detailed in Art World  Oct.2007 ,Shanghai Literature And Art Publishing Press

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SUN XUN 孙逊
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574.Art World

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