Werner Sun: The Science Behind His Art

I’ve been intrigued by Werner Sun and the science behind his art since I first met him about four years ago at a New York Foundation for the Arts Boot Camp for Artists. His work defies traditional 2D or 3D art and sculpture. I kept wondering how his background as a particle physicist was reflected in his work.

Late this fall, I had a chance to visit him when I took my daughters to an overnight stay at Cornell University, where he works as IT Director for the Laboratory for Accelerator-Based Sciences and Education.  As I followed the directions to his home, that also doubles as his studio, the voice on my GPS said, “Turn right on the unpaved road and proceed three miles.”

Werner Sun’s charming house/studio was, indeed, about 20 minutes outside of Ithaca on an unpaved road. I was warmly welcomed by Werner, his partner and their dog.  In preparation for my visit, he had removed the works of other artists and replaced them with a smorgasbord of his stunning work. Several of his mobiles hung from the ceiling.

I found his insights on human nature, art, and the intersection of science and art truly fascinating. So, come along with me on a visit to his hive of creativity, where we explore his work, and he offers insights on art, science and humanity. You’ll also get a chance to see how he develops some of his pieces.

For more about Werner Sun and his work, or to contact him, visit WernerSun.com

Werner Sun and the Science of 2- and 3D Sculpting from CAROL WHITE LLEWELLYN on Vimeo.

Segment time markers in Werner Sun Interview

:20 – About Ithaca, NY, home of Werner Sun and Cornell University
1:15 – Werner Sun’s artistic start creating mobiles and transition into 2- and 3D art
3:45 – Werner’s background as a particle physicist and about Cornell’s work at the Hadron Collidor at Cern in Geneva Switzerland
4:55 – Looking for patterns in science and everyday life, and how humans use patterns
6:30 – How patterns and transformation come into play in Werner Sun’s work
7:00 – Demonstration of how Werner creates his art
8:28 – Werner Sun talks about how his musical background influences his art
9:00 – Incorporating digital prints into drawings
10:45 – Thinking about 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional art
11:49 – Werner’s Work “The Marks We Leave Behind,” in conjunction with the Smithsonian exhibit “On Being Human,” and Werner’s inspiration for and philosophy behind the work
13:40 – Werner’s experience exhibiting at the Islip Art Museum in the show Compendium, that included works by artists that were connected to science
14:02 – Werner discusses his work and commissions in mobiles; a discussion of scale in art
14:46 – The composition of a mobile, the composition of a flat work
15:49 – The reasons for the popularity of mobiles; the balance of randomness and order, complexity and simplicity
18:19 – Is science or art more creative? What role does inspiration play for each?
21:20 – Werner shares insights, goals and the mission of his work