Garden of Dreams
works of Sun Ying
2012.09.08 - 10.10

In a personal comparison between Sun Ying’s 33 previous works and her 37 current works, are like the first and second half of a movie respectively. We are introduced to the characters and the plot in the first half. We are provided a delicate close-up prospective of the characters and led to make assumptions of the story through the reflections in the eyes of the two main protagonists: the girl and the rabbit. In the second half we start to get a broader picture of the story as the view expands and becomes clearer. We experience the journey of the girl and the various animals in the painting on the way to the garden of her dreams upon the boat of her paint brush. We can experience a similar fairy tale feeling with her paintings as we do with Italo Calvino’s “The Enchanted Garden.” We experience the shadows of towering trees that suddenly disappear, to reappear under the wide sky and appear before a flowerbed filled with petunias and bindweed, winding tree lined trails, rows of rails, and lines of boxes…

The main characters reappear with the same angelic expression on their face, with the girl and rabbit retaining their ethereal visage. The characters at times show expressions of anxiety over the fact they do not feel they belong in this garden. This all reflects the artist evolving self-image. She has expanded the views she strives to present us with her vibrant backgrounds showing her growing spatial senses. Some key examples of this include: The pouting rabbit in a sea of dandelions; the little girl astride foliage covered cow horns; a miniature sun in the form of a firefly lantern dispelling the terror that darkness brings; The “Swan Seat” transforms into a boat to carry the girl to her desires.
Her directorial point of view reflects on her educational background in movie and television design.

With so many stories being told these days and growing, it becomes more difficult for artist to choose how to tell their stories. In her paintings Sun Ying presents a dreamy fairy tale that is not simplistic and self-evident. To achieve this she must learn to master not only color and layout, she must also learn to master depth and strength of her works also. The girl and rabbit in her paintings represent her artistic ideal in form and color. Though the techniques are simple, through the use of rich vibrant colors and subtle hues of shading we are presented with a model of gentle idyllic beauty.

In her own opinion Sun Ying feels that there is no “Set Rule of Painting.” She can only make one painting at a time and only when the final stroke is laid down can she hope to begin to give birth to the next. Through this force of will she has been able to complete 37 works in a year. I personally feel I cannot judge on her work ethic, but I can see she is making progress at a moderate pace to achieve her success.

With an inspiration firmly rooted in her heart Sun Ying brings out the stories we all hold in our hearts. Where will her inspiration lead her next? This exhibition of the second half of the movie does not mean the finish of the movie it only opens the way for the sequel.