Eli Klein Fine Art is pleased to present Shen Shaomin’s first solo exhibition in New York. A world renowned conceptual artist, Shen Shaomin pushes unconventional materials to new limits. His art comments on contemporary issues from politics to human nature.
This exhibition will feature Shen Shaomin’s new bonsai ink paintings. These delicate paintings on silk are created in the manner of traditional Chinese paintings, yet the subject matter, Shaomin’s tortured bonsai trees, is of great contemporary significance.
The exhibition also includes Shaomin’s G8 Summit installation, portraying iconic world leaders. Through seemingly reverent renderings, Shen Shaomin’s distorted framed canvases cause the faces of the public figures to shift, thus revealing the ironic mutability of politicians and their views or promises.
Taken together, these new works confirm Shaomin’s position as one of China’s leading conceptual artists.
Shen Shaomin’s Experimental Fields sculptures explore ideas of evolution and genetic engineering. Using animal bone, the artist fabricates museum quality skeletal displays for creatures drawn entirely from his own imagination. The artist explains, “Today what we feel and know as Nature has become something artificial, technical, and sociological. Men are fabricating an artificial world of their own according to their personal interests.” The message of these works warns against the dangers of human intervention in the natural world.
With his Bonsai tree installations, the artist further explores the issue of human intervention using natural living things. The art of torturing dwarfed ornamental trees becomes a metaphor for controlling nature and beauty. With such practices as foot binding in mind, Shen Shaomin illustrates violence done and constantly pursued to disfigure or reshape the work of nature. He pushes the limits of traditional bonsai arts, employing a wide range of techniques to mutilate his bonsai trees, bending them to his will.
Shen Shaomin was born in Heilongjiang Province, China. He lives and works in Sydney, Australia and Beijing, China. His work is currently shown in the United States at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, and at the Millennium Park in Chicago. His works have been widely exhibited, notably at the Sydney Biennale, the Asia-Australia Art Centre in Sydney, the Museum on the Seam in Jerusalem, the National Art Collection Museum of Dresden, the New Art Gallery in Walsall, the Metropolitan Museum in Manila, the Guangdong Museum of Art in Guangzhou, the House of World Culture in Berlin, the Museo di Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, the Seoul Museum in Korea, and the Today Art Museum in Beijing.