The story appears on

Page B3

June 3, 2011

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Feature

Ink-wash artist who reads your fortune

Sun Xinyi, a noted French Chinese artist, not only has an acute eye for the essential beauty of nature but also an eye for reading the future (or so he says).

"Yes, I am a fortune teller, but I don't live on it. This is only an interest," Sun claimed in advance of his first Shanghai solo exhibition that opens June 10 at the Shanghai Style Art Museum.

Born in 1947 in Shanghai, Sun was tutored by Lu Yanshao, one of China's most famous traditional ink-wash painters.

In the 1980s Sun traveled to Japan to teach traditional ink-wash painting. In 1990 he went to Paris.

The exhibition features many recent paintings.

Due to his years in the West, Sun's paintings fuse traditional brush strokes with Western artistic arrangements. He has painted many European landscapes on rice paper, which gives a very different impression of familiar Western scenes.

But back to fate and fortune.

"I believe in fate," Sun says. "I assure you that one's fate is determined at the moment he or she is born."

During the "cultural revolution" (1966-76), both Sun and his teacher Lu were criticized for their art that was considered feudalistic and not contributing to modern China.

"Master Lu was very gloomy and he wanted to find some comfort in fortune tellers," Sun recalls. Lu suggested he read the I Ching, or Book of Changes, which is used for divination.

Sun read deeply and the more he read, the more curious he became, intent on exploring this area. He read other ancient texts and finally developed his own system of prediction.

"I have a special calculating method based on my years of learning," he says. "Just give me your birth date and I will tell you your fate ... Frankly, it's impossible to change one's fate, and I can only give some suggestions."

His skills and interest in the occult helped him establish good relations with celebrities in Paris, he says. He was also interviewed by Radio France Internationale about his predictions.

"But I am still an artist. After all, this is my career," Sun says. "I am happy I can introduce Westerners to the wonders and profundities of Chinese culture and art."

"Life is quite short for everyone," he concludes, "so it's better to do something that can cheer you up. For me, art is fated."

Date: June 11-19, 10am-4pm

Address: 291 Fumin Rd


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend