Sun Xun, 21 KE [21 Grams], 2010

Sun Xun, 21 KE [21 Grams], 2010

Hayward Gallery presents Yesterday is Tomorrow, the first solo show in a UK public institution by Chinese artist Sun Xun. Born in 1980 in Fuxin, Xun currently lives in Beijing. For the Hayward Gallery Project Space the artist has created a new series of wall drawings in ink and charcoal. They introduce his film works, a selection of black-and-white and colour animations that includes 21 KE [21 Grams] (2010), one of his best-known pieces and the first ever Chinese animation to be shown at the Venice Film Festival.

Sun Xun’s animated films weave reality and fantasy with time and world history, producing haunting visions of mythology in the making. Drawing lies at the heart of all Sun’s art. His meticulous hand-drawn animations incorporate text and images, combining traditional materials and printmaking techniques. Illustrations are drawn on the pages of old Communist newspapers and magazines, or on canvas and silk. He then films the drawings frame by frame to create flickering effects and complex, multilayered textures. While seeming to scratch at the surface of political history, his subjects expose the past as being in a state of constant becoming.

About the exhibition

Duration: Thursday 16 January – Sunday 23 February 2014

Venue: Hayward Project Space

Monday: 12 noon – 6pm

Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday: 10am – 6pm

Thursday and Friday: 10am – 8pm

Courtesy of the artist and Hayward Gallery, for further information please visit

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