Sunny J

Born in Ningbo, China 

Sunny J is a multidisciplinary artist, working primarily in painting, textile, performance, installation, and ceramics. She holds a B.A. in Studio Arts from the University of Rochester, along with a four-year full scholarship and the Elizabeth M. Anderson Prize for Excellence in the Arts. In 2017, she received her M.F.A degree in Painting from the National Higher School of Visual Arts - La Cambre (ENSAV) in Brussels, Belgium, while also completing an art research certificate at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). 


Sunny J has since then been active on the artistic scenes of Europe, the United States, and China. In 2015, she was selected for the Old School Residency in Gorna Lipnitsa, Bulgaria, where her participative performance, Wedding of All Times, received national media attention. She has been an artist-in-residence in Shangyuan Art Museum (2016, China), AADK Residency (2017, Spain), Glo'art Center (2018, Belgium), and recently a resident at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai, China. 

Sunny J's works focus on the exploration of identities. A nomad artist living on three continents, her visual practice is tightly knitted into her personal experience of cross-cultural crafting, painting, art education, and curating. Seeking at once to establish borders and eliminating them, Sunny J adopts a multifaceted art-making, constantly questioning the value of cultural traditions. 


MFA - Painting 

ENSAV-La Cambre (Brussels, Belgium)                                                   


BA - Studio Arts 

University of Rochester (Rochester, NY, United States) 


Exchange studies  

Académie de la Croix-Nivert (Paris, France)                                                                                                                             

École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (Nantes, France)


Studios of Luca Buvoli, Leslie Dill, Jocelyn Hobbie (New York, USA)         



Solo Exhibitions 

2018       Reliqaires, La Résidence Municipal Art Center, Dompierre-Sur-Besbre, France

2018       Wunderkammer, Galerie Alpha, Thiers, France

2016       Shell, Shangyuan Art Museum, Beijing, China

2015       Not A Single One, 464 State Street Gallery, Rochester NY, USA

Selected Group Exhibitions


2019      Her, IINNOO Gallery, Bellagio Hotel, Shanghai, China


2017       Finalist exhibition for 2017-18 selection of artist-members of La Casa de Velazquez (Academy of France in  Madrid)

Salle Comtesse de Caen, Academy of Fine Arts, Paris, France

               Daring Tales, Salle Delvaux, Free University of Brussels (ULB), Brussels, Belgium

               Shell, Niko Matcha Salon, Brussels, Belgium

               Troposphère, Espace 6B, Saint-Denis, France

2016       Weekend Salon, Koala Space, Tianjin, China

               Rose était presque kaki, Avenue Louise 186, Brussels, Belgium         

               Ritual Art - Time and Space, Old School Group Show, traveling exhibition in Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, Ruse, Stara Zagora, Bulgaria


2015       Not A Single One, 464 State Street Gallery, Rochester, USA

               Impossible Journey, mural work installed in Wilson Commons, University of Rochester, USA

               Art Awake, One-day art festival in Rochester City, USA

               Rochester Erotic Arts Festival, Radisson Riverside Hotel, Rochester, USA

               HeART of Disorder-an exhibition exploring mental disorder, University of Rochester, USA

               (en)Gendered: Between Identities and Environments, Art & Music Library, Rochester, USA   


2014       Nana – a collaboration of senior Studio Arts majors, ASIS Gallery, Rochester, USA

               “Say Something”, GlobeMed Art Gala, Art Museum of Rochester, Rochester, USA

               Abundance, Bridge Art Gallery, Office of Mental Health Promotion, Medical Center, Rochester, USA

               Annual Members Show, Rochester Contemporary Art Center, Rochester, USA

               Myth: paintallation from Advanced Painting, ASIS Gallery, Rochester, USA                                                                        

2013       In Labor: Gendering (Re)Production, Art & Music Library, Rochester, USA


2012       Mapping, Sage Art Center, Rochester, USA

    Art Walk, University Avenue, Rochester, USA   

    Annual Undergraduate Juried Exhibition, Hartnett Gallery, Rochester, USA

    HeART of Disorder-an exhibition exploring mental disorders, Hirst Lounge, University of Rochester, Rochester, USA

    ArtAwake, Rohrbach Brewing Company, Rochester, USA

    Nature 2.0/Introductory Digital Art /Printmaking, Sage Art Center, Rochester, USA

   “Failure is Impossible”: Feminism’s Past, Present and Future, Sage Art Center, Rochester, USA


2017       Grant for artist residency program in Spain, International Fund of Friends of La Cambre

2017       Artichoke Grant, Bureau of International Youth (BIJ Brussels)

2015       Joseph P. O’Hern Award for Travel and Study in Europe, Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society

2015       Elizabeth M. Anderson Prize for Excellence in the Arts, University of Rochester

2015       First Medal Prize, Research in Visual Arts Contest, University of Rochester

2011-15  Global and Renaissance Scholarship, University of Rochester

2013-14  David Porter Diversity Scholarship, IES Abroad

2011       Innovation Grant for research in the arts and humanities, University of Rochester

2011       Iota Book Award, University of Rochester