Ink Asia 2023 Special Screening

Ink Asia 2023 Special Screening

Date & Time

21 Oct 2023 3:00pm – 4:30pm


JC Cube


Exclusive to Tai Kwun Fan, Free of charge


Moving beyond the boundaries of traditional ink painting, Ink Asia 2023 is embracing new mediums of creation. In conjunction with this, Tai Kwun Contemporary presents a special screening showcasing artistic responses to ink art. Offering novel interpretations together with experimental explorations, the selected video works open up expanded visions of ink grounded in contemporary social, economic, and aesthetic concerns.

Liu Yi 

Chaos Theory 

2014 | 8 min | B&W

Animated with traditional hand-drawn frames, Chaos Theory presents the order that is within chaos. Humanity, nature, sex, violence, destruction, and escapism merge in a succession of images, even fusing into a stream of consciousness. The fluid nature of ink is all the more magnified on the xuan paper, with a constantly changing flow of imagery, while the specially composed soundtrack underscores the emotional shifts in the narrative.

Liu Yi 

Morning and Dusk, and No More

2022 | 26 min | Colour | Chinese

Morning and Dusk and No More documents Liu Yi’s careful observations and memories of his artist residency in Cyprus many years ago. The animated footage traverses fact and fiction: from the attachments of love together with fetters in a family, to the youthful stories of a shepherd, from the farm life of an elderly person to the woes of folks in a village. Depicted with vivid, painterly colours and cinematic camera pans, such day to day scenes make for a heartfelt ink animation work.

Qiu Anxiong 

The New Book of Mountains and Seas Part 3 

2013–2017 | 30 min | B&W | Chinese

Inspired by the Classic of Mountains and Seas—an ancient Chinese compilation of mythic geography—Qiu Anxiong spent over ten years creating an ink animation trilogy that questions about the toll of rapid social and technological development on nature, traditional values, and indeed human civilisation. Featuring a non-linear narrative, The New Book of Mountains and Seas Part 3 portrays a post-apocalyptic future in which people are addicted to virtual reality. The bleak, absurd, almost sci-fi scenes offer a premonition of sorts: the blurred overlap of the real and virtual reflects a contemporary condition—even allowing our very real perceptions to be controlled by the virtual.

Sun Xun  

Mythological Time

2016 | 12 min 44 s | Colour

With Mythological Time, Sun Xun transforms a series of classical ink paintings on bark paper into an animated journey, a journey that has as its destination Fuxin, the artist’s hometown in northeastern China. Once known for its coal mining industry, Fuxin has become a neglected backwater following its industrial decline. The animation draws attention to this sombre history through dark imagery that addresses folk legends, changing political ideals, and historical transformations.

Courtesy of SUN Xun and ShanghART gallery 

Sun Xun 

Tears of Chiwen

2017 | 9 min | Colour | Chinese

Chiwen is an auspicious mythological beast that can be found perched on opposite ends of the ridges of roofs in the traditional architecture of East Asia. Portrayed as spouting waves into rain, the creature symbolises the prevention of fires and disasters. In this work, Sun Xun reflects on the modernity of East Asian culture within a global context, with various East Asian countries having diverged widely in how ethnic and national identities have formed, under the impact of the West. Tears of Chiwen combines ink, collage, newspaper, video, and coloured drawings with expressive brushstrokes, provocative imagery, and unexpected narratives to expand the possibilities of ink-based animation.

* This will be an open seating event. The films have not been classified yet. If they are subsequently classified as a Category III film, audience members must be aged 18 or above.

Artist Bio

Liu Yi
Qiu Anxiong
Sun Xun

Liu Yi was born in 1990 in Ningbo. She obtained her master’s degree from the China Academy of Art in 2016. Her work focuses on art films and experimental animation that delve into parallel worlds. Liu Yi's video works have been exhibited at institutions around the world, including the Animist Tallinn Festival Exhibition; the Cyprus Museum; the New Chitose Airport; the Centre for Heritage, Arts & Textile; the Power Station of Art; the Times Art Museum in Beijing; the Hanshan Art Museum in Suzhou; and the Seoul Museum of Art. In 2017, her work A Crow Has Been Calling for a Whole Day was selected for the Holland Animation Film Festival and later received the Special Recommendation award at the Hua International Short Film Festival. Her work is represented in the White Rabbit Contemporary Chinese Art Collection, the East Asia Library of Stanford University, and M+. She lives and works in Hangzhou.

Qiu Anxiong was born in 1972 in Sichuan. He graduated from the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts in 1994 and from the college of art at Universität Kassel in 2004. He currently teaches at East China Normal University. His practice encompasses animation, painting, installation, and video. His work is represented in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas, Kunsthalle Bern, the Guangdong Museum of Art, the Guy & Myriam Ullens Foundation, the Haudenschild Collection, and M+. 

Sun Xun was born in 1980 in Fuxin, Liaoning. He graduated from the Printmaking Department of the China Academy of Art in 2005 and the following year established π Animation Studio. Sun’s visual language consists of metaphorical imagery, dark and intense hand drawings, and dream-like narratives. His work investigates non-linear expressions of time and space and explores both realistic and fantastical representations. His animations have been recognised at the Berlin International Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival. He lives and works in Beijing.