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Quiet Expressions: Art By Song Kun

A blurred photograph of trees passing in the mistEscape Veloticy

Beijing artist Song Kun creates artworks that are quiet expressions of fear, confusion, desire, and happiness within small moments of daily life. Kun’s background being in China during great cultural, political and economic changes means that her works, while not overt, often have a socially critical undertone.


A photo of the back of a young Chinese girl's head, on a red backgroundMade in China

In the series Escape Velocity, Kun uses the escape velocity of Earth (the speed at which one can exit the planet’s atmosphere) as a metaphor for the extreme speed at which China is developing on the world stage. She continues the motif of speed, taking photos from a swiftly moving vehicle of scenery, trees and road, passing so quickly that it is blurred almost into abstraction. There is an element of apprehension in these pieces, but also the excitement that comes from leaving the status quo.


Other works too, look at daily life – one series photographs the anonymous backs of the heads of Chinese citizens, nondescript yet all unique in hairstyle and clothing. Another focuses on the windows of an apartment building, and the lights that indicate those who dwell inside.


A photo of a wall of windows on the exterior of an apartment building, some lit, some darkBehind Curtains

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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