UW News

February 16, 2011

Ren Sun's ink drawings of Mt. Rainier and Mt. Everest on display at Harborview

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

Ren Sun
Ordeals in Nature
Now through February 28
Harborview Medical Center
Cafeteria and Ground West Lobby

Ren Suns quiet ink drawings of Mt. Rainier in the Cascade Range and Mt. Everest in the Himalayas belie the momentous environmental changes their ancient mountain glaciers are undergoing.

Their dramatic wintry facets disguise accelerated melt, believed to be caused by worldwide climate change. These disappearing glaciers are expected to one day cause perilous water shortages for more than half of the earths populations. Ren Suns art presents the crucial confrontation between the unlimited demands of human civilization and the finite resources offered by Mother Nature.

Ink study of mountain glaciers by artist Ren Sun.

Ink study of mountain glaciers by artist Ren Sun.

His work is on exhibit now through Feb. 28 at Harborview Medical Center Cafeteria. Level B, and Ground West Lobby, Level G, 325 Ninth Ave., Seattle. Harborview can be reached by the free, round-trip shuttles from the UW main campus and from UW Medicine South Lake Union.

Additionally, for this exhibition, Ren Sun has added recent works depicting Mt. Rainier, one of the primary sources of water in North America.  Rainiers glaciers, significantly diminished over the last several decades, provide stream flow for many rivers used for irrigation and hydroelectricity.  The reduction or elimination of this stream flow will have an inconceivable impact upon our regions geography, culture and way of life.

“It is a grim reality that all the glaciers on earth are retreating. Whatever happens to the Himalayas, Mt. Rainier, the Alps or Mt. Kilimanjaro poses serious questions for our civilization,” says the artist. “I want to advance the Himalayas discourse as a fundamental question for people everywhere, and send an alert to the world. This exhibition is the beginning of my plan to travel the globe with this mission.”

Ren Sun will soon return to Huangzhou, China, where he has accepted a faculty position at the China Academy of Art. He plans to return regularly to the Northwest, where his family resides, and to continue his survey of glacial recession.