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Kendall Ke Sun turns the Story of the Past Into Art: Pathetique

Text by Julian Lucas

We are finally coming to a point where businesses are opening again and museums are opening at a minimum capacity. Before then most exhibitions and talks about art were and still maybe virtual through Zoom. But as galleries open, I along with other impatient artists, collectors, and art enthusiasts are feeling a sense of ease.

Kendall Ke Sun is a luminary artist who produces works of art that are profoundly steeped in history and inspired by social theory. His works encompass a combination of Chinese ink, acrylic, and Chinese paper, which gives depth.

Titled Pathetique, exhibited at the Progress Gallery, features works that were largely created in 2010, which includes 81 pieces that took three months to complete. Viewing the exhibition virtually doesn’t begin to convey the way the scale and texture illuminate with the light. Kendall engages the history of China as well as his own personal expression in this set of works that unfurl with magnificent bold broad strokes, he is able to intertwine the language of abstract art with the legacy of China after the Second World War. A Chinese army squad decided ethically to push the enemy forces up a plateau to assist its leaders and protect the local population, which led to a canyon. They battled to the last second, with at the end just five soldiers surviving, which wasn't in defeat. From his artist statement, Kendall notes, “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 deeper inside of me, hopefully, it could also enlighten the viewer”.

Kendall Sun was born in China and graduated with MFA from LuXun Academy of Fine Art in China. Mr. Sun lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

Pathetique is on display at the Progress Gallery Located at 300 S. Thomas Street Pomona, CA until the 29th of March 2021.

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