Universal Ap­peal

In­spired by the five el­e­ments, artist Sun Xun has cre­ated a thought-pro­vok­ing in­stal­la­tion for the sec­ond an­nual Aude­mars Piguet Art Com­mis­sion, writes Em­i­lie Yabut-ra­zon

Hong Kong Tatler - - Life -

hou­sands of stalks of bam­boo curve into the air between two palm-lined av­enues, form­ing a roof over a snaking, un­du­lat­ing low-rise wall hung with works of art. It’s dusk and as the light fades, the glow from five large orbs be­comes ap­par­ent, each globe alive with pro­jec­tions of dif­fer­ent an­i­mated scenes—bloom­ing flow­ers, rolling sea waves, min­ers at work, flames and crows, and ants on a rock. Mys­ti­cal and mes­meris­ing, this in­stal­la­tion at Art Basel in Mi­ami Beach is the work of Chi­nese artist Sun Xun, who was in­spired by the five el­e­ments—metal, wood, fire, wa­ter and earth—in con­cep­tu­al­is­ing it. Ti­tled Re­con­struc­tion of the Uni­verse, it is the sec­ond edi­tion of Aude­mars Piguet’s Art Com­mis­sion, a project the watch­maker launched in 2015 to “chal­lenge artists to ex­plore and vi­su­alise the par­al­lel themes of com­plex­ity, pre­ci­sion, and links between science, art and na­ture.”

The in­stal­la­tion also in­cor­po­rates a se­ries of wood­cut im­ages and 300 knives dis­played on a white wall that high­light­ing the pro­cesses through which Xun brings his art to life: stop­mo­tion an­i­mated films cre­ated with paint­ings, wood­cuts and tra­di­tional Chi­nese ink and char­coal draw­ings. The pièce de ré­sis­tance is a 3D an­i­ma­tion called Time Spy for which Xun and his team in Bei­jing cre­ated more than 10,000 frames, each in­di­vid­u­ally cut by hand.

We are led to a seat­ing area at the end of the in­stal­la­tion space fac­ing a large free­stand­ing screen and are handed 3D glasses spe­cially de­signed by Xun with a red lens and a blue lens. The show starts. As eerie or­ches­tral mu­sic plays, the scenes ap­pear in a

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