Le Brassus, 22nd November 2016: Swiss watchmaker Audemars Piguet is delighted to announce further details of Reconstruction of the Universe, a major new immersive artwork by Chinese artist Sun Xun for the second Audemars Piguet Art Commission. The large-scale installation will be unveiled on Tuesday 29 November 2016 at Art Basel in Miami Beach, and will span a city block on the Miami Beach oceanfront.
Sun Xun’s Reconstruction of the Universe will be a completely immersive work of art, stimulating viewers’ senses with 2D and 3D animation, traditional scroll paintings, ink drawings, sound, various architectural and design elements, all of which will be included in a massive pavilion made of curved bamboo. For this work, Sun Xun has employed his entire artistic arsenal, making this one of his most technically complex artworks to date. Sun Xun’s work incorporates traditional craft and cutting-edge technology, and explores global history, politics and memory. Audiences will be invited to enter the installation after dusk to experience the full impact of the illuminated work.
Sun Xun was proposed for the second Audemars Piguet Art Commission by guest curator Ruijun Shen. During the summer of 2016, experts retained by Audemars Piguet worked closely with the artist and his team to develop innovative solutions in order to project his film, Time Spy, onto three spherical screens, which will be displayed inside the pavilion.
The animated films included in the installation take inspiration from the Five Elements – metal, wood, fire, water, and earth – that structure the universe and influence change according to Chinese cultural tradition. The works utilize different materials to symbolize each of the elements: a sequence showing miners at work has been created using carbon powder, a large woodcut animation depicts white blooming flowers, ink brings the rolling waves of the sea to life and images of ants and the Earth are finished with coloured pencil.
An exceptionally diverse range of visual references will feature in the installation, all of them informed by Sun Xun’s deep study of Western and Eastern cultural traditions. An image evoking Song dynasty ink drawings sets the overarching tone and mood, while other moments offer glimpses of Socialist Realism, Renaissance painting, and various modern and contemporary strains of art.
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, Beijing and Singapore, and Edouard Malingue Gallery in Hong Kong.
Artist Sun Xun said: “I’m looking forward to presenting Reconstruction of the Universe in Miami and I hope this will be a unique experience for viewers. I have created an immersive environment, which bridges the gap between past and present, reflecting on global history and memory. I want viewers to feel as if they have entered another world. I have always been interested in time and my work for the Audemars Piguet Art Commission is deeply rooted in the history and metaphysics of the world surrounding us.” Olivier Audemars, Vice Chairman of the Board of Audemars Piguet, said: “We developed the Audemars Piguet Art Commission with the intention of making a significant contribution to the world of contemporary art. Sun Xun continues to produce works of artistic impact, and we’re delighted to be presenting one of his most ambitious projects to date. It’s a pleasure to work with an artist who creates works requiring exceptional technical accuracy and creativity, and who shares Audemars Piguet’s core value: “To Break The Rules, You Must First Master Them.”
Further to the Art Commission, Audemars Piguet continues to be present at the Art Basel Collectors Lounge. Created by Chilean designer Sebastian Errazuriz and taking inspiration from the ice formations and the beautiful snowy winters in the Vallée de Joux, the lounge highlights the concept of an ice cycle as a metaphor of time while presenting a selection of Audemars Piguet’s most complicated timepieces and Savoir-Faire.
About the Audemars Piguet Art Commission
The Audemars Piguet Art Commission supports artists in the creation of works of exceptional complexity, precision and experiential impact on an ongoing, annual basis. The commissioned artworks are overseen by an annual guest curator and selected by an international jury. They are presented to the public to coincide with Art Basel’s edition in Miami Beach, and subsequently where possible, at a public art institution. As part of the Commission, Audemars Piguet provides to the invited artist the necessary resources and secures access to advanced tools, craft expertise, or sophisticated technology to realize
important new creative projects.
To coincide with Art Basel in Basel 2015, Audemars Piguet unveiled the first work for the inaugural Audemars Piguet Art Commission. Swiss artist and composer Robin Meier was selected as the first artist for the Audemars Piguet Art Commission and worked with the commission’s renowned guest curator, Marc-Olivier Wahler, on the production of a major new artwork.
Meier’s large-scale installation focused on the principles of order in nature. Synchronicity explored the natural phenomena of how fireflies found in remote parts of the world flash bioluminescent light in unison. Following the Audemars Piguet Art
Commission, Meier’s work Synchronicity was shortlisted for 17th Fondation d’entreprise Ricard Prize, Paris.
About Sun Xun
Sun Xun was born in Fuxin, an industrial mining town in northeast China. 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.
In 2016, Sun Xun was invited to create a site-specific work for the Guggenheim Museum, which will eventually become part of the museum’s permanent collection. ‘Tales of our Time’ seeks to present a heterogeneous yet socially aware perspective on contemporary art in China. Sun Xun is represented by Sean Kelly Gallery in New York, ShanghART Gallery in Shanghai, Beijing and Singapore, and Edouard Malingue Gallery in Hong Kong.
About Art Basel
Founded in 1970 by gallerists from Basel, Art Basel today stages the world’s premier art shows for Modern and contemporary art, sited in Basel, Miami Beach, and Hong Kong. Defined by its host city and region, each show is unique, as reflected in its participating galleries, the artworks presented, and the parallel programming produced in collaboration with local institutions for each edition. In recent years, Art Basel’s art-world engagement has expanded beyond art fairs. In 2014, Art Basel launched
its Crowdfunding Initiative, in collaboration with Kickstarter, which has helped catalyzed much-needed support for outstanding non-commercial art projects worldwide and has helped pledge over $1.2 million to creative projects all over the world. For Art
Basel Cities, launched in 2016, Art Basel will work with select partner cities to develop vibrant and content-driven programs specific to the individual city. Connecting them to the global art world through Art Basel’s expertise and network, Art Basel Cities supports its partner cities in developing their unique cultural landscape. The first city Art Basel is partnering with for Art Basel Cities is Buenos Aires. www.artbasel.com
©Audemars Piguet 2016