Yuqian Sun

"My art practice is derived from doll photography, which I started practicing when I was a kid. Inspired by the visual beauty of these mass-produced toy dolls in real life, my paintings discuss the cultural context of the meaning behind objects that are artificial imitations of human beings.”

Gem in Their Eyes No.4 "White Opal" - Oil on paper 44 x 72 cm

Yuqian Sun was born in Shenzhen, China, in 1997. At the age of 14, her long journey of studying abroad began. After graduating from Idyllwild Arts Academy in California, she earned her BFA degree at the University of Michigan in 2019. 

Yuqian's career as a professional artist has never been derailed. At the age of 21, Yuqian published her original photography book and held her first personal exhibition. By now, her work has won prizes in multiple international art competitions and has been recognized by professional galleries, museums and art foundations in Europe, the United States, Japan and China.

Yuqian's art practice is derived from her photography works, which she started practicing when she was a kid. It was a pure hobby at first, but turnt into a long and comprehensive method of creation that carries her aesthetics. she aims to turn these externally lifeless models into internally living objects. Her work creates a poetic space that makes people reconsider where the borderline of life and lifelessness is.

Yuqian studied and experimented with traditional mediums, striving to refine her painting style into unique authorship. In her doll portrait series "Artificial Fairies" and "Gem in Their Eyes", she keeps looking for the ideal doll in the images she created. 

Watercolor is the medium Yuqian has studied the most in the past nine years. The emotional intensity that emerges in the poetic flow of translucent color is the reason of her obsession with the medium. When working on representational paintings with watercolor, Yuqian imagines capturing a solid form with intangible materials like water and light. Yuqian has learned to be confident yet humble to cooperate with water instead of controlling it. Water-flow calms her down, teaches her to be honest with herself, and brings her inner world onto paper.

Artificial Fairies No.9 "Listener" - Watercolor and ink on paper 41 x 60 cm
Gem in Their Eyes No.1 "Pigeon's Blood" - Oil on canvas 90 x 130 cm
Artificial Fairies No.5 "Please Don't Go" - Watercolor and ink on paper 41 x 60 cm
Artificial Fairies No.8 "Intermission" - Watercolor and ink on paper 41 x 60 cm

This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist

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