Times Square Midnight Moment: Time Spy
July 1 – 31, 2017
In partnership with the Audemars Piguet Art Commission, Times Square Arts presents artist Sun Xun’s Time Spy on Times Square’s electronic billboards from 11:57 p.m. to midnight every night in July. This project is a part of Midnight Moment, a monthly presentation by The Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) and Times Square Arts. One of China’s most prominent young artists, Sun Xun created Time Spy for the second Audemars Piguet Art Commission in partnership with Sean Kelly Gallery, Edouard Malingue Gallery and Shanghart Gallery as part of a large-scale immersive multimedia installation first presented during Art Basel in Miami Beach in December 2016.
A violin with wings flies through a sky filled with spinning moons, while rotating machinery gives way to strange landscapes and pressure valves. These chimerical images come together in Sun Xun’s Time Spy, a 3D animated film created from thousands of individual hand-carved woodcuts. Hundreds of Chinese art students assisted Xun in carving each frame of the film, juxtaposing traditional and analog illustration methods with modern 3D animation across digital screens in a way that turns the antithetical into the elegant. The film employs images of traditional Chinese themes like the five elements (metal, wood, water, fire, and earth) in a symbolic exploration of the nature of time and how we try to make sense of it.
Free 3D glasses will be distributed every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday for passersby to view the animated film in three dimensions.
Sun Xun, woodcut from Time Spy, commissioned by Audemars Piguet Art Commission