Sun Yitian Sun Yitian

Sun Yitian

Born 1991 in Zhejiang, China. Lives and works in Beijing.
Sun Yitian, Gun without bullets, 2022, acrylic on canvas. Photo © Andrea Rossetti


Sun Yitian is best known for her paintings of mass-produced objects, generally based on staged photographs taken by the artist herself. Lovingly rendered in colorful acrylic paint, the surfaces of the inflatable toys or severed dolls heads—both frequent motifs—shine brightly, often with flecks of reflecting camera lights visible. The paintings’ aesthetic is a quality of the painting process: Seen up close, the photographic precision dissolves, as the painterly and coloristic effects created by the artist’s expert application of paint become apparent. Carefully placed to seduce our gaze—to “remove all resistance to perception” in Sun Yitian’s words—the subtlety of this effect allows the works to exist in a continuously contested realm between representation and abstraction.

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