Installation View of Song Kun:A Thousand Kisses Deep 01; Photo by artspy. cn

The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) presents an exhibition of new work by Song Kun, one of China’s most prominent young female artists. “Song Kun: A Thousand Kisses Deep”, opens on Sunday 3 June 2012. Hung salon-style across the twin walls of UCCA’s Nave, the exhibition features a new cycle of 28 shimmering paintings, technical studies of drifting light evoking a sinister, sensual beauty and the dual themes of carnality and spirituality. Paired with an immersive video installation, this presentation showcases the latest practice of one of China’s most interesting young painters.

This most recent work demonstrates an exploration of abstract qualities, divided roughly between images of bodies and static organic forms, and dominated by shifts between light and dark. The works evoke emotional distance, while employing an increasingly luscious color palette. A Thousand Kisses Deep explores the quiet properties of natural materials, then ventures into the realm of carnality. Deeply personal moments become allegories for societal change, fear, desire and disillusion. The artist’s work is characterized by a kind of wistful desire, with figures portrayed as if hovering in a dream world both familiar and fantastic.

Born in Baotou, Inner Mongolia, 1977, Song Kun was a founding member of the artist group N12 during her studies at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), where she completed her master’s degree in the oil painting department in 2006. She represents a generation of art students formally trained within a rapidly developing environment. Her nostalgic obsession with the commonplace sets Song Kun apart from political, contemporary pop art, as her oeuvre reveals subtle criticisms and a muted mourning for something lost. While still a student, she was recognized as a notable artist at the 2005 Triennial of Chinese Art, ‘Archaeology of the Future’ at the Nanjing Museum.

Earlier works provided glimpses into the narrative of her own life by focusing on the small romances of the ordinary. In her first solo exhibition, “It’s My Life,” she produced a series of diminutive paintings – observations of the world around her – every day for a year. She has exhibited widely both in China and abroad, having mounted solo shows in Los Angeles and Beijing.

Related Programs


Lull & Silent Dog Night performance – Song Kun’s Special Project

Time: Saturday, June 2, 21.00

Venue: School (53 Wudaoying Hutong, Andingmen, Dongcheng District)

Guests: Song Kun, Huzi, Sulumi, Exit A, Gao Hu, Mulian, Yang2, Yangzi…


smart Artists’ Talk Series: ART AS – Painting, Performance, Music, and a Digital Revolution

Time: Sunday, June 10, 16.00-17.30

Venue: UCCA Auditorium

Guests: Song Kun

Chen Mulian (electronic musician and multi-media artist)

Language: Chinese with English translation


Children’s Art Workshop: The Life Magician

Time: Sunday, June 17, 10.00-11.30

Venue: UCCA La Suite

Guest: Song Kun

Language: Chinese with English translation

09 Song Kun© 2007 by Anna-Louise Kratzsch

About Song Kun

Song Kun (b. 1977, Baotou, Inner Mongolia) completed her MFA in the oil painting department at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in 2006. She was a founding member of the artist group N12 during her studies, and she gained recognition as one of China’s most prominent young female artists at the Second Triennial of Chinese Art (Nanjing Art Museum, 2005). Solo exhibitions include “Seeking the Recluse but not Meeting” at Walter Maciel Gallery (Los Angeles, 2009); “Xi Jia – River Lethe” at Boers-Li Gallery (Beijing, 2008); “Song Kun, Solo Project” at Hammer Museum (Los Angeles, 2007); and “It’s My Life” at Boers-Li Gallery (Beijing, 2006). Selected group exhibitions include a special presentation at The Armory Show (New York, 2010); “Body – Boundary” at Chambers Fine Art (New York, 2006); and The Second Triennial of Chinese Art (Nanjing Art Museum, 2005). In 2008 she was a resident artist at the Leipzig International Art Program. Song Kun lives and works in Beijing.

About the Exhibition

Date: Jun 3, 2012 – Jul 15, 2012

Opening: Jun 3, 2012, Sunday

Venue: Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (Beijing) (Beijing, China)

Artist: Song Kun

Courtesy artist and UCCA, for further information please visit

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