Auction | China Guardian (HK) Auctions Co., Ltd.
2024 Spring Auctions > Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art
Asian 20th Century and Contemporary Art

Sun Xun (b.1980)
Time Spy (set of twelve pieces)(Executed in 2016)

Woodcut and printing ink on board

45.5 × 60.7 cm. × 12;17 7/8 × 23 7/8 in. × 12

1 – 4 Dec 2016, Art Basel Miami Beach, Audemars Piguet, Miami

ShanghART Gallery, Shanghai
Acquired directly by present important private Asian collector from the above

Note: this work is the original woodcut of Sun Xun’s animation Time Spy, and each of these twelve pieces is unique

An Allegory that Travels through Time and History
Sun Xun’s Renowned Time Spy

Born in Liaoning in 1980 and graduated from the Printmaking Department of the China Academy of Art in 2005, Sun Xun is undoubtedly a genius in the contemporary art world. With abundant creative energy, he uses woodcuts, animated images, and installations to explore grand topics such as the birth of power and the state, history, the truth of beliefs and knowledge systems, life and death, the trajectory of time, and the creation of the universe Since 2007, he has participated in more than 300 exhibitions beyond all peers of artists, including solo exhibitions at the The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Vancouver Art Gallery, and Yuz Museum in Shanghai.

Among them, Time Spy, which was completed in 2016, can be said to be the "most watched" special work. This is an animated film he completed with 1000 woodcut prints as materials, commissioned by the well-known watch brand Audemars Piguet (Audemars Piguet Art Commission). And to date, this work has been collected by institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, and the M+ Museum in Hong Kong.

After the completion of the work, Time Spy was presented at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2017 and screened on the large screen of Times Square, a well-known landmark in New York, for 25 days from July 6 of the same year. The 12-piece work of the same name, Time Spy, is the only one-panel woodcut released in the series.Its significance goes without saying.

The Wrought Vigour of Engraving, the Cross-Examination of Life Journey

With his profound skills, Sun Xun carved Time Spy on wooden boards. The powerful and deep marks left by his knife not only sculpt the three-dimensional sense of the subject but also depict the "traces of time."

The 12 woodcuts are like consecutive chapters, each narrating a story. Beginning with the invention of the microscope, people can explore the microscopic world unseen by the naked eye. In the journey of covering thousands of miles, racing against the fleeting moments, they actively explore the mysteries of the universe. On the other hand, the weapon of defense and the house of assets become the symbol of power. People seek more luxury cars and material indulgences, attempting to climb the summit of power. However, the stone lion symbolizing the faith and the rocks symbolizing the beauty of the ancient literati have inspired people to reflect on the history and to recall the curiosity of exploring the unknown world in the Age of Discovery, the wisdom of the traditional heritage, and the evolution of reptilians.

Over time, everyone will eventually face an end - death. The owl, symbolizing knowledge, Keep its eyes wide open and questioning humans: In this life journey carrying baggage, where do you aspire to go? In the course of time and history, the deeply and distinctive Time Spy throws meaningful and thought-provoking questions to us, advising us to count our blessings.

Price estimate:
HKD: 70,000 – 120,000
USD: 8,900 - 15,300

Auction Result:
HKD: 312,000



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