In 2016, Sun Xun won the Audemars Piguet Art Commission. This up and coming artist works with a wide range of media from ink painting, woodcut, collage, video to 3D animation. In his work, he likes exploring themes like reality, imagination, memories, history, myth and time. Sun Xun has exhibited nationally and internationally on numerous occasions, and his animations have been shown in various international film festivals.
For the second annual Audemars Piguet Art commission during Art Basel Miami Beach in December 2016, he created Reconstruction of the Universe, a time-based multimedia installation presented under an S-curve-shaped bamboo pavilion. The installation’s main piece was called Time Spy a ten-minute 3D animation which was presented every night through July 2017 on New York Times Square’s electronic billboards.
After visiting the Audemars Piguet factory in Le Brassus, Switzerland, Sun Xun commented: “The watchmaker’s amazing craftsmanship and commitment to both invention and tradition reminded me that it is essential to continually question my own thinking.”. Back in Beijing, with the help of his studio π, he carved more than ten thousand woodblocks, then inked, and scanned them to create the animation frames. Using a very traditional woodcutting technique, the artist has created a technological artwork that makes you travel between past and future. As the artist says: “You can neither touch yesterday nor tomorrow, you always live in the present, with Time Spy you can go back to the past and into the future, […] you are the spy of yourself”.