Sun Xun: Jin Bang: A Country Based on Whale
Allegro Print, Singapore, 2015, 99 pp.
Sun Xun, one of the youngest and most prolific video artists today, is recognised for black and white animation films depicting time and world history that reveal a critical and political awareness of China. His work was in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s first exhibition on contemporary ink art. His films have been screened at numerous festivals, including the 8th International Rome Film Festival (2013), the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival (2012) and 67th Venice International Film Festival (2010).
A Country Based on Whale is an ambitious establishment of a brand new ‘country’ by Sun Xun. Inspired by the annals of Singapore’s journey to independence, over 40 artworks – including passports, national flags and citizen guidebooks – were created to sow the seeds for Jing Bang, a country that will exist for only six weeks, and takes its name from the ephemeral emergence of a whale surfacing for air. By further allowing interested applicants to register for citizenship, Jing Bang launches an ontological and critical investigation on the anatomy of a ‘country’, provoking thoughts about what it takes to create one, and what citizenship means to an individual.
With essays by Teo Han Wue and Eitaro Ogawa, in both English and Chinese.