Metamorphosis – Sun Yu Solo Exhibition


September 14 2014 – November 12 2014
Opening: 5-7pm, September 14, 2014
House 76 Lane 927 Huai Hai Middle Road, Shanghai
2014.9.14 - 2014.11.12

Sun Yu was born in Northern China and has studied painting since childhood, graduating from Guanzhou  Academy of Fine Arts. He specializes in portraits. Years of college life have given him exquisite painting skills and his infinite interest in human, exploration and thinking of life have brought a strong personal color and innovation to his paintings.

The name “Yi” comes from the Chinese ancient book <Yi Jing>, means “metamorphosis”. These new works are different from his past works both in technique and concept. This exhibition is an important turning point in Sun Yu’s career as an artist.

“Bad boy” series take the twelve Chinese Zodiacs as a clue, creating twelve characteristic portraits. This group of paintings still continues his past dark tone, the human spirit of keeping distance from the world and the unique character of black humor. But at the same time, he is trying to abandon the past college training skills, and go back to the “rustic” artistic expression—using simple lines to outline and making the characters more plain and cartoonish—which has given his works a childlike sense such as never previously existed. Corresponding with the external technique changes , the artist gets his internal changes. Sun Yu has more than once mentioned that he is in a transitional period and he hopes to release from the past struggles, in order to enter the pure and peaceful state. We can also experience his change attempt and attitude from the “Bad boy” 、 “Black color” and “Magician” series.

“Magician” series is the most specific works in his new paintings. Each work is composed of six small paintings, showing a complete human being separated. Yearning for the completion with the reality of division and pursuing perfection with the eternal imperfection is the contradiction of our normal life which is difficult to reconcile. The artist is trying to use the “Magician”, a unique expression, to represent his strong desire for self improvement and the pain in this continuous perfection process. Sun Yu will always be in a state of “metamorphosis” throughout his life on the artistic road. Even though the Cici Fuss’s stone still rolls down after the sunset, Sun Yu would never change his pursuit of perfection, as this is the best solution to afflict the inherent contradiction of life.

In the “Reverse Mountain”, he is trying to absorb the wisdom and inspiration from Chinese traditional culture. The idea of this painting is from “Kan Gua” which is one of the divinatory symbols in the <Yi Jing>, a reminder that we should still keep our human virtue in difficult circumstances. In order to express this idea, Sun Yu puts lots of doll-like people in a dark and cloudy world. Some people survive to get on the highest peak because of their maintenance of virtue, while some people are submerged to the lower land cause their treachery. If we observe the picture carefully, we will find that the deep soil in the “Reverse Mountain” is painted by the measurement unit like “one” 、“two”, “big”、or“small”. It is Sun Yu’s pure expectation for the ideal society that only we bury the care of gain and loss, we can obtain the real peace and happiness.

From the exquisite training skills to “rustic” expression, from struggling in the whirlpool of desire to pursuit of pureness, Sun Yu will always be in the “metamorphosis”, while the only changeless is his devotion to the art and self.

View artist profile:

Sun Yu










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