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Du Kun "Sights of the Mount Sumeru"

Nick Cave, Oil Painting by Du Kun

@Mizuma, Kips & Wada Art, New York

Mizuma, Kips & Wada Art is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by Du Kun entitled "Sights of the Mount Sumeru" beginning on Friday, 26th April.

In this exhibition, Du Kun will show his new series of work. "Sumeru" used in the title, from Mount Sumeru is both a Hindu and a Buddhist word. According to legend, it is believed that there are three thousand different worlds and Mount Sumeru is in the center of all of these worlds. Surrounded by the eight seas and eight mountains where heaven, hell, and the mortal world coexist. It is also where the gods and ghosts dwell in. This exhibition is titled, "Sights of the Mount Sumeru," portraying Du Kun’s imagination of the modern musical world of Mount Sumeru. Living amidst the huge mountains and vast seas, are Du Kun’s beloved great gods of music.

梦蝶寺 Temple of Butterfly Dreaming 140X210cm 布面油画 oil on canvas 2017 (Joshua Love)

We warmly invite you to view the artist; Du Kun’s constantly evolving works, and his contradicting world.


鸿栖楼 Flying Swan Palace 布面油画 oil on canvas 210X140cm 2018 (臧鸿飞)

The writings of the Aggañña Sutta explain a belief known as trichiliocosm (def. a great cosmos of myriad worlds), and at the center of one of those worlds is a place called Mount Sumeru. Surrounded by eight mountains and eight seas , it is a place where the Gods and spirits reside; a world where heaven and hell coexist. This exhibition entitled "Sights of the Mount Sumeru" is my visualisation of the mountain existing in the world of modern music. I wanted people to experience this radical scenery of today ’s iconic musicians adored as Gods,surrounded by lustrous mountains and seas.

For this series, I wanted to incorporate rebellious, pioneering rock ‘n ’roll stars and religious architecture from traditional China. The fusing of these modern-day icons with the idols of traditional Chinese temples has created an entirely new landscape in my work.

Because there are so many musicians that I consider as icons, and because this theme has so many directions I can venture into, I had to continue expanding the creative process after my 2016 solo exhibition with Mizuma Art Gallery in Tokyo.

During the creative process for the works in this series version 2.0, I experimented with new techniques in their composition, such as utilizing

10-金匀冷月 Jinyun Temple under Cool Moonlight 布面油画 oil on canvas 210X140cm 2018 (许钧

a motion blur effect to emphasize the subject ’s gestural movements and elongating the lines and shapes to create a psychedelic atmosphere. Conceptually, I also played with the idea of using the effect of a warm candlelight radiating out of the subject model in Jingyun Temple under Cool Moonlight , set amidst the backdrop of the night sky – a tribute to the song "Warm Light" by Jun Xu, a singer-songwriter from Bengbu. Compared to my earlier series which was modelled almost entirely after the Han Chinese people , this new series feature musical acts from a much wider demographic such as ethnic minorities from China as well as international musicians and artists.

I felt the need to expand the demographic because even though rock ‘n’roll music originally came from Western culture , it has deeply influenced the East and shaped a unique culture that belongs only in this era. I have also moved into different genres besides rock ‘n ’ roll,appreciating both established and emerging musicians from electronic music, world music , experimental noise and psychedelia.

The animation works in this exhibition can also be seen as an extension of my creative process. I have always wanted to explore the medium of animation – a medium that fluidly translates the ideas in my head ,providing them the liberty to be fully developed as video works.

Sights of the Mount Sumeru has been both a surreal journey and a visual music festival.

—Du Kun

Date: Wednesday, 26th April – Saturday, 26th May 2019

Closed Mondays and Tuesdays Venue: Mizuma, Kips & Wada Art 324 Grand Street, New York, NY 10002 USA


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