Bo Sun: Abdomen (Body of Three)

Bo Sun

Artwork’s Title: Abdomen (Body of Three)
Materials Used: Aluminum, Perspex, Metal fixtures
Studio Based: ASC Brixton, London
Bo Sun, Abdomen, 2022, Aluminum, Perspex, Metal fixtures, 2000mm x 140mm x 900mm, Installation shot of group exhibition “MacArthur Park” at Cromwell Place, London

Can you tell us about the process of making your work?

Most of time I start with some drawings from things I observe from quotidian life: architectural structure, industrial design, nature etc. Then I converted them into vector drawings and 3D models to get a general sense of how these structures would interact and merge. Then I would get them laser cut and assemble in the studio. Most of the process follow some kind of system but the fun part is that I leave some space for alteration and that’s where the more adaptive materials come to play such as 3D prints and silicone.

How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?


How did you come up with the idea of ‘Abdomen’ (Body of Three), (2022)? Is there any story behind this artwork?

Abdomen” (Body of Three), 2022 is a floor installation I made for my degree show. The work is made of three different structures which I made in different time of the year, I decided to put them together as one big structure. Due to the adaptive nature of the structure, the work can be installed, adapted, balanced in different way. I was looking into insect exoskeleton a lot around that time and the idea of making a reinvented version of insect body came to mind. The work is part of degree show with two wall pieces which I refer them as the “wings” and “Abdomen” is the body. In my head I had this vision of seeing “Abdomen” as an elongated intricated structure that mimics the body of a dragonfly.

Observing your artworks and installations, it seems evident that your work is dominated by materials such as Aluminium, Perspex, or Metal fixtures. What does really motivate you to get involved into working with such materials.

I think all these materials have quite strong industrial context where they often seen in design and construction. Presenting an organic form or structure with such rigid and harsh materials creates an interesting contrast. I see these industrial materials as the logical aspect of the work as they were manufactured in a pre-planned way and has its limitations to alternate. In a way it feels like a misplacing of these material to try to make them look less industrial but organic.  

Insects and more particularly butterflies seem to dominate your body of work e.g Blue Morpho knife, Moth, Artefact I & II; In addition in your website, there is an eleven point checklist providing a detailed strategy about ‘How to catch a butterfly and what to do with it’’; does this sort of butterfly fascination, as a significant motif, have a deeper meaning or interest to you as an artist?

I would say the text on my website is an abstract and poetic way of articulating the butterfly motifs. I see there is a visual connection between the butterfly-like shape and the hip bone in human anatomy and I find this visual connection fascinating where two of the structure can interchange between two totally different realms. I would say the motifs are the combination of the two, something in-between the insect and the human. The text of “How to catch a butterfly and what to do with it” is a vague recall of memory of my childhood in the countryside. By revisiting that memory, I felt like the act of catching and washing butterfly was such an innocent yet brutal action. It was a delicate procedure to wash of the powder on the butterfly wing and then you got this beautiful transparent wing of a dead butterfly.

Do specific artworks have been created by random experiments in your studio or do you always come up with a particular concept or narrative in the very beginning?

Some works were created by experiments in the studio, I would say sometimes it was intuition- based exploration but still follow a system or logic. Aluminium structure as the “bone” and the Perspex as the “flesh” and the rest of materials as add-ons like “soft joint” etc. The experiment gives me a lot of joy as I can reassemble the work in different way and recycle some extra parts from other work to create something new or test out certain new way of constructing with new fixtures or new materials.

But in other occasions I do plan the narrative before I figure out the planning of the work. For instance, “Fluted Cascade”, I started imagine a waterfall fallen from the new moon and “Peacemaker” I was thinking about a swing on a heart.

What would be the best way to exhibit your work?

When it come to the installation of the work I always refer to a museum-like setting, like how they exhibit insect taxidermy, where there is a good lighting and perfect amount the space away from the wall or display that make people wonder how they move when they were alive.

Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?

Marguerite Humeau on top of my head, I have always how she combines all kind of information and transfer them into visual language and the vast disciplinaries her practice involves. Just perfect amount of research and perfect amount artistic input.

What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like?

I have a studio in Brixton which is close to my flat. It was about 20sq ft but there isn’t natural light. I separate my studio into two sections: Sculpture and everything else. I tend to draw and paint a bit when I am running out of ideas or just simply don’t want to work in a 3D way. I always get inspired by the drawings sometimes as I recycle the same motifs or parts shape in my drawings and paintings, I see it as an alternative way of redocumenting my sculptures.

Which are your plans for the near future?

I might consider applying for a MA next year to further my practise and better my contextualisation. I am planning to stay in London as my base and survive as an artist in this artworld. Finger crossed.

Additional Artworks

Bo Sun, Companion Planting, 2023, Aluminum, Perspex, Metal fixtures, Resin, 370mm x 150mm x 400mm, Part of group exhibition “Baggage Claim” at Staffordshire St Gallery, London. Photo by Alex Kurunis
Bo Sun, Echo, 2022, Aluminum, Perspex, Silicone, PLA 3D prints, Metal fixtures, 260mm x 300mm x 160mm. Part of group exhibition “Your Heart to A Dog to Tear” hosted at Take Courage Gallery, London
Bo Sun, Hindwing, 2022, Aluminium, Perspex, Metal fixtures, Silicone, Paint, 470mm x 660mm x 70mm, Installation shot of group exhibition “Upcoming Promises” at Simulacra Gallery, Beijing
Bo Sun, Wingbone I, 2022, Aluminium, Perspex, Metal fixtures, 1320mm x 300mm x60mm, Photo by Vinx Wang


All images courtesy of the artist

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