Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Audemars Piguet Art Commission Supports Immersive Installation at Art Basel

Artist Sun Xun is working with the
Audemars Piguet Art Commission.

Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet is delighted to announce details of major new artwork by Chinese artist Sun Xun, for the second Audemars Piguet Art Commission. The installation will be unveiled at Art Basel in Miami Beach 2016. 

This will be one of Sun Xun’s most ambitious projects. The Chinese artist’s entire multidisciplinary arsenal will be mobilized in the large-scale immersive environment of the installation. In addition to 2D and 3D animation, the work will include traditional scroll paintings, ink drawings, various architectural and design elements, as well as sound. The installation will be presented to the public on the Miami Beach oceanfront, and will span a city block across from Collins Park.

Since 2006, Sun Xun has overseen a large and growing animation studio to realize his increasingly complex productions. Time Spy, a film animation included in the installation, will be created using classic Chinese illustration methods, in which every frame is a fully executed woodcut. The work has required the assistance of hundreds of Chinese art students who have been supporting Sun Xun in the production of each individually crafted woodcut. The 3D animation will be projected onto a screen, which the audience will view through custom glasses designed by the artist.

Artist Sun Xun said: “The Audemars Piguet Art Commission is one of my most ambitious projects to date, a complex production which has required a great deal of technical accuracy, a vast team of assistants and the latest technologies. The intricate craftsmanship at the heart of Audemars Piguet is similar to my own artistic practice, and being selected to produce this commission has allowed me to work with the highest quality resources, with support from an exceptional team.”

These woodcut illustrations were used
to create an animated film for the installation. 

In 2015, Sun Xun was invited to Audemars Piguet’s home in Le Brassus to learn about the brand’s 141-year tradition of precision and expert craftsmanship. Considered one of China’s most talented young artists, Sun Xun was selected for his mastery of many interdisciplinary fields and highly experimental working methods, mirroring the forward thinking and technical excellence inherent to Audemars Piguet’s watchmaking.

The Audemars Piguet Art Commission supports artists in the creation of works of exceptional complexity and precision. A defining aspect of the Commission is that it not only provides the selected artists with resources, but also creates links to special expertise required to realize original artworks. For Sun Xun’s installation, Audemars Piguet is working closely with the artist to secure the highest quality of optical and projection devices necessary to construct the project.

Sun Xun's installation will be unveiled at
Art Basel in Miami Beach this December.

Growing up in a time immediately following the Chinese Cultural Revolution, themes of global history, culture, memory and politics have had a profound impact on Sun Xun’s work. For his installation in Miami Beach, Sun Xun will explore the Five Elements – metal, wood, fire, water, and earth – that structure the universe according to Chinese cultural tradition. Bridging classical and modern art and exploring the history and metaphysics of the world that surrounds us, the installation, among its many layers of meaning, amounts to a prolonged meditation on time, both in content and in form.

Olivier Audemars, Vice Chairman of the Board of Audemars Piguet, said: “The Audemars Piguet Art Commission seeks to explore topics of complexity and precision, in projects that demand the highest level of execution and skill. Sun Xun’s practice, blending centuries-old artistic techniques with 21st century technology, is a perfect fit for the Commission. All of us at Audemars Piguet are delighted to be collaborating with one of the most original representatives of this generation of Chinese artists.” 

The development and presentation of the installation was undertaken in collaboration with the artist’s three galleries: Sean Kelly Gallery in New York, ShanghART Gallery in Shanghai and Singapore and Edouard Malingue Gallery in Hong Kong.

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