The Time Vivarium - Silk Book 2
Sun Xun often discusses how history is a tool that can be manipulated by either the government, or an artist, to serve different goals. His father, prosecuted during political campaigns in the 1960s, was a factory worker. The personal histories told to Sun at home contrasted sharply with the versions taught in school. In 2013, Sun came to New York as part of an artist residency and visited the American Museum of Natural History. He compared the dioramas in the museum to Chinese official histories and accounts of the past, in which the content was manipulated to fit a prescribed narrative. He wrote, “The exhibits, like state history, are designed with a sociopolitical agenda, heavily influencing notions of cultural identity.” Unlike the dioramas, The Time Vivarium
will be by definition “a place of life” with different chapters that form the series, some focusing on museums of history and others on museums of “prejudice history.” Sun asks, “Which history does China wish to remember and which does it seek to be part of?”
Sun’s inscriptions in the folding book were written in dialogue with the scenes depicted in it:
My solo exhibition in New York was at the end of 2013. The exhibition was called Time Vivarium. I was enlightened by my father’s memory of the Cultural Revolution in his youth. At this time last year, I visited New York to find clues for the exhibition. The Natural History Museum gave me a lot of inspiration.
Man’s attitude is very important, whether it is toward nature or history. Different cultures cultivate different worldviews.
Sometimes cultures are just like magic and can completely alter everything.
The universe in early morning
Memory of Father
Dimension of Memory
There is also a Statue of Liberty in Tokyo.
—Sun Xun, New York, December 2014
Ink and acrylic on silk
closed: 18 3/8 x 14 x 2 7/8 in. (46.7 x 35.6 x 7.3 cm)
open: 18 1/4 x 194 in. (46.4 x 492.8 cm)
[Right to left]
My solo exhibition in New York is occuring by the end of 2013. The exhibition was called Time Park/Vivarium. I was enlightened by my father's memory of the Cultural Revolution in his youth. At this time last year I visited New York to find clues for the exhibition. The Natural History Museum gave me a lot of inspiration. Man's attitude is very important, whether it is towards nature or history.
Different cultures cultivate different world-views.
People's attitude can be found in all living things.
lit: Every year have fish
Every year have enough
Sometimes cultures are just like magic that can completely alter everything.
as different as if a lifetime had passed
The universe in early morning
Memory of father
Dimension of memory
There also is a Statue of Liberty in Tokyo.
The reality in languages
When talking about culture and art, even if you've encountered/experienced the whole world, the most important thing is to see it in an absent-minded way/not to take it too seriously
Sun Xun in New York
This item is not on view
Gift of Stanley Love and Sylvia Mitchell, by exchange, Robert A. Levinson Fund, Emily Winthrop Miles Fund, Alfred T. White Fund, and Designated Purchase Fund
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