Kendall Sun: “Pathetique”
“Pathetique” is a solo exhibition by Kendall Sun presented in the West and East exhibition spaces of the Progress Gallery in March 2021. This body of work is based on a true story, originating from a battlefield in China during World War II. A team of Chinese soldiers, to support their main force and protect the civilian population, made the ethical decision to draw the enemy force to the top of a bluff, ending in a sheer cliff. They fought to the last second, In the end only five soldiers were still alive. The thought of surrender was out of the question… instead, they all chose to jump off the cliff…
This series of paintings focus on the emotional tension between the fate of individuals and the war itself. The reason I chose this theme of war, is that it makes one think of both life and death, curiously asking, what’s that means to me. A person’s entire life is diluted when crossing over that bridge from life to death and a new long journey begins. However, the urgency becomes most apparent in the drama of war. People are driven directly to the awareness of life and death, and faced with that reality. With the horrors of war, the mind of a common man may be simple or complicated, but decisions are never easy.
This could be a very emotional and dramatic moment, encompassing everything and everyone. The faith for life and the fate of mortal man are intertwined in an instant… All of this can only be faced alone; hence, many of the characters in this series of pictures, are represented by only one figure. In the process of completing these works, I pushed this emotion to its limit, where I found more deeper inside of me, hopefully it could also enlighten the viewer.
Kendall (Ke) Sun is a painter who was born in North-east China in 1982. He obtained a degree of Master of Fine Art from LuXun Academy of Fine Art in 2010. His work is integrated with ink, acrylic and Chinese paper, and is incorporated with calligraphy and traditional brush-painting methodologies. Kendall currently lives and works in California. His solo exhibition, “Pathetique,” was presented by the Progress Gallery of Pomona Arts Colony in March 2021.