SUN YANHU | 孙彦初
Sun Yanchu was born in 1978 in Zhoukou, Henan Province. He now lives and works in Zhengzhou. He has been awarded several international art prices, including the MIO Photo (Morumura Yasumasa) Special Award in 2010, the Lianzhou International Photo Festival New Photography Award in 2011, and the Jinan International Photo Biennale Best Photographer Award in 2012.
Sun Yanchu takes on the photographic medium as the raw material for experimenting on the image and endlessly drawing out the web of his obsessions as an artist. In the beginning he alters his own prints, from the Obsessed series (2011), later working with photos gathered in flea markets. With his recent series and book “Ficciones”, he subjects photos to plastic experiments of all kinds, mixing gold leaf, water color, acrylic, even soy sauce, aging and altering the original content of these unknown photographs. Often small in size, they become a pretext for starting a story or a tale that develops beyond the restricted frame of the drawing, creating with paintbrush or pen doubly fictitious landscapes and narratives collected from discarded histories and anonymous family albums.
Sun Yanchu experiments with darkroom chemicals and photographic papers in the tradition of Chinese ink painting in his ongoing body of work “Developer Paintings” 2013-18. An accomplished darkroom printer as well as painter, Sun Yanchu works with brush and intuition to control the chemicals, temperature, light exposure and developing process to bring out the unique effects found in his developer paintings. The artist says the process of this creation and the results after development - the layers of black ink and color gradation effect - very much resemble traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy, which the artist has been exposed to since childhood. Sun Yanchu’s ‘Developer Painting’ works are a mixture of his passion for both traditional Chinese painting and the modern western invention of photography.