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Published on April 4th, 2011 | by Yellow Magpie


Xiaonan Sun: The Artist Who May Start A New Trend In Art


Fashions and fads often stay the same for quite a considerable period of time. However, once in a while, a completely new trend or medium emerges that is unfamiliar, odd even. True art is about taking the ordinary, the everyday and making it alien, extraordinary.

The American artist, Xiaonan Sun, embodies these sentiments. Self-thought, Sun’s normal medium is the charcoal pencil.

But a video on You Tube has broken from the mould. Sun chose to do a portrait of a pop character from a teenage TV series in salt. Like sand paintings, using salt has a similar textured aesthetic.

A Mesmerising Experience

Looking at Sun at work sparks a strange blend of emotions.You watch in earnest interest as a pile of tiny grains are given form and structure. This culminates in a beautiful, almost photo-realistic portrait as the character is given life by Sun. The black, white and grey colours are eerily life-like as the person that is created seems to be glaring at the viewer.

The Nature Of Salt Paintings

Unlike, other forms of art, Sun’s salt portraits are transient, temporary, and he chooses to wipe them off when they are complete. So in essence the portraits have a definite birth, a short life and a death.

Here is Sun creating a portrait of Alexander Skarsgard, who plays Eric Northman in the TV series True Blood.

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