July 1-31, every night from 11:57pm-midnight

Time Spy press release

(New York, N.Y.) June 28, 2017 –In partnership with the Audemars Piguet Art Commission, Times Square Arts presents artist Sun Xun’s Time Spy on Times Square’s electronic billboards from 11:57 p.m. to midnight every night in July. This project is a part of Midnight Moment, a monthly presentation by The Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) and Times Square Arts. One of China’s most prominent young artists, Sun Xun created Time Spy for the second Audemars Piguet Art Commission in partnership with Sean Kelly Gallery, Edouard Malingue Gallery and Shanghart Gallery as part of a large-scale immersive multimedia installation first presented during Art Basel in Miami Beach in December 2016.

A violin with wings flies through a sky filled with spinning moons, while rotating machinery gives way to strange landscapes and pressure valves. These chimerical images come together in Sun Xun’s Time Spy, a 3D animated film created from thousands of individual hand-carved woodcuts. Hundreds of Chinese art students assisted Xun in carving each frame of the film, juxtaposing traditional and analog illustration methods with modern 3D animation across digital screens in a way that turns the antithetical into the elegant. The film employs images of traditional Chinese themes like the five elements (metal, wood, water, fire, and earth) in a symbolic exploration of the nature of time and how we try to make sense of it.

Free 3D glasses will be distributed every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday for passersby to view the animated film in three dimensions.

Sun Xun, Artist, said, “Time Spy has many layers from both Western and Eastern cultural traditions. The focus is on past versus present, on time. You cannot touch yesterday; you cannot touch tomorrow. All you have is now. Now represents time. Time is invisible, it’s untouchable, but it remains the foundation of our existence."

Olivier Audemars, Vice Chairman of the Board of Audemars Piguet, said, "We are delighted that Sun Xun’s Time Spy will be presented on the screens in Times Square this summer. It reaffirms the importance of the Audemars Piguet Art Commission, supporting artists from all over the world to realise some of their most ambitious projects. Time Spy is a truly original artwork that explores complexity and precision, values that are core to our brand, and we are thrilled to see it shared on such a significant platform."

Tim Tompkins, President of the Times Square Alliance, said, “It seems fitting for a work that revolves around the concept of time, history, and memory to come to Times Square, a place so strongly associated with the midnight countdown and the turning of the calendar to the new year.”

Debra Simon, Times Square Arts Director, said, “Times Square Arts is proud to be presenting the work of Sun Xun, considered one of China's most talented rising young artists.  Midnight Moment is truly a global platform for global artists.”

Fred Rosenberg, President of the Times Square Advertising Coalition, said, “Sun Xun has gone above and beyond with this piece, where classic art forms meet modern technology. After putting on 3D glasses, tourists will surely see the iconic screens in Times Square in a new light!”

Harry Coghlan, Chairman of the Times Square Advertising Coalition, said, “Time Spy, a film that explores the passing of time and how people make sense of it, will be an exciting addition to the Crossroads of the World where tourists and New Yorkers alike come to pass the time and to explore. Sun Xun is considered to be one of China’s most talented young artists, and we welcome his project as part of Midnight Moment.”  

The following digital screens are participating in the July Midnight Moment:

American Eagle Times Square, Bank of America, Branded Cities 7 Times Square, Branded Cities NASDAQ Tower Times Square, Branded Cities Thomson Reuters, CEMUSA, City Outdoor, Clear Channel Spectacolor HD127, Clear Channel Spectacolor HD128, Microsoft Cube and Welcome Center Live Tiles,  Morgan Stanley, Outfront Media 1515 Broadway/ Viacom North & South, SILVERCAST Digital Spectacular - Times Square, Superior Digital Displays Crossroads of the World, Triple Play on 7th Ave & The Waterfall on 42nd St.

About Midnight Moment
Midnight Moment is the world’s largest, longest-running digital art exhibition, synchronized on electronic billboards throughout Times Square nightly from 11:57pm to Midnight. Presented by the Times Square Advertising Coalition and curated by Times Square Arts since 2012, it has an estimated annual viewership of 2.5 million.

Past artists featured in the program include Alex Prager; Joshua Frankel; Naoko Tosa; Matteo Zamagni; Alex Da Corte; Pipilotti Rist; Tal Yarden; Emilio Perez; Tim Etchells; Elizabeth Peyton and Kristian Emdal; Jherek Bischoff; Beau Stanton; Saya Woolfalk; Jennifer Steinkamp; Soundwalk Collective; Lorna Mills; Peter Fischli and David Weiss; Laurie Anderson; Antony Nagelmann; Jesper Just; Shahzia Sikander; Rashaad Newsome; Osgemeos; Eric Dyer; Richard Garet; Andy Warhol; Peggy Ahwesh;  Marco Brambilla; Rafaël Rozendaal; Sebastian Errazuriz; Charles Atlas and Antony; Noah Hutton;  Ryoji Ikeda; Daniel Canogar; Alfredo Jaar; Isaac Julien; Robert Wilson; Tracey Emin; Seoungho Cho; Vicki DaSilva, Surabhi Saraf, and Elly Cho; Erika Janunger; Takeshi Murata; Bel Borba with Burt Sun and André Costantini; Zach Nader; Brian Gonzalez (aka Taxiplasm); Björk; JR; Ryan McGinley; Jack Goldstein; Nature Theater of Oklahoma; Ezra Wube; Laleh Khorramian; Brian Dailey; Leslie Thornton; and Yoko Ono. For more information on past projects, please visit: http://www.timessquarenyc.org/times-square-arts/projects/midnight-moment/index.aspx


Times Square Advertising Coalition (TSAC) is a trade association comprised of major advertisers, retailers, real estate firms, media companies and other businesses involved in the outdoor sign industry in Times Square, along with organizations representing Broadway and the community.   Members of TSAC include:  ABC Regional Sports & Entertainment Sales, Clear Channel Spectacolor, Daktronics, D3 LED, Digital Domination, Hines Management, Jamestown One Times Square, Lamar Advertising Company, Landmark Sign & Electric, Metro Media Technologies, Newmark Knight Frank, North Shore Neon, P.R.omotion!, Sherwood Outdoor, SL Green, Times Square Alliance, The WOW Factor and Thomson Reuters. www.timessquareadcoalition.org. Follow TSAC on twitter at @TSACNYC.

Times Square Arts, the public art program of the Times Square Alliance, collaborates with contemporary artists and cultural institutions to experiment and engage with one of the world's most iconic urban places. Through the Square's electronic billboards, public plazas, vacant areas and popular venues, and the Alliance's own online landscape, Times Square Arts invites leading contemporary creators to help the public see Times Square in new ways.  Times Square has always been a place of risk, innovation and creativity, and the Arts Program ensures these qualities remain central to the district's unique identity. Generous support of Times Square Arts is provided by the. New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Visit http://www.timessquarenyc.org/times-square-arts/index.aspx for more information. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @TSqArts.

Sun Xun
Considered one of China’s most talented young artists, Sun Xun’s artistic practice combines meticulous craftsmanship with stylistic experimentation not limited to any one medium. Blurring the lines between drawing, painting, animation and installation, his work incorporates a wide array of materials. Painting, woodcuts, traditional Chinese ink and charcoal drawings are often combined to create the foundation of expressionistic, stop-motion animated films. These films are then presented in immersive settings, filled with realistic and fantastical iconography. Sun Xun was born in Fuxin, an industrial mining town in northeast China, and grew up in the period immediately following the Chinese Cultural Revolution. The lingering aftereffects of this movement continue to have a profound impact on his work, which often uses animals and insects as main characters, to explore the themes of global history, culture, memory and politics.

Follow on Instagram at @sun_xun.

Audemars Piguet Art Commission
Launched in 2015, the Audemars Piguet Art Commission supports the creation, by an emerging or midcareer artist, of one significant contemporary artwork that emphasizes the visual and conceptual expression of complexity, precision, and creativity. For each annual commission, a guest curator is invited to assist in identifying artist candidates and to collaborate with the selected artist as well as with Audemars Piguet in helping to realize the project. Audemars Piguet not only provides the monetary support for developing each project, which is expected to be a significant work both in terms of size and complexity, but it also supports the selected artist by providing access to advanced tools, scientific or craft expertise, and sophisticated technology—whatever know-how or technical support the artist may need—to execute the work. The works are presented to the public during Art Basel and subsequently, exhibited at public institutions.


Media Contacts:

For Times Square Arts:

TJ Witham
212.452.5234 | TJWitham@TimesSquareNYC.org

Marisa Wayne
212.843.9216 | MWayne@Rubenstein.com



Justine DiGiglio
212.205.6632 │Justine@NicholasLence.com