Shen Hua

China 1972

Installation, Sculpture, Neo-expressionism, Painting

Shen Hua
Shen Hua
March 30, 2015
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

Shen Hua is a Chinese artist who works with paintings, installations, and sculptures. His works constantly challenge our awareness of contemporary social issues, while subtly prompting questions about our own identity as a collective within society.

Shen Hua’s Background

Born in 1972, in Chongqing, Sichuan Province, Shen Hua graduated from the Fine Arts Department of the Southwest Normal University in 1999, and in the Oil Painting Department of the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, in the subsequent year. In support of his unerring determination and ambition, Schoeni Art Gallery fully sponsored the tuition of the artist’s three-year Master’s degree at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute. He was mentored by renowned artist Luo Zhongli a painter considered one of the most acclaimed artists in China to depict farmers.

Shen Hua’s Influences

Articulating an aesthetic that is firmly grounded in an emotive representation of the Chinese proletariat, Shen Hua’s language borrows from the Expressionist era, in terms of motif, technique and artistic ambition, while bridging the gap from “Socialist Realism” to “Rustic Realism”. Through inspiration derived from “Freudian Expressionism”, his painting techniques employ heavy and powerful brushstrokes to render the strong and twisting muscles of the migrant workers, as well as to express his own inner feelings.

Style of Shen Hua

By depicting the practical and banal, he manifests the dynamic forcefulness of reality. His command over his medium liberates his honest sense of humility, thereby allowing a keen psychological insight, and understanding of, society in motion to be put forth with candour. The treatment of Shen Hua’s subject matter is characterized by a muted palette, with his figures garbed in non-descript clothing dulled by a very obvious layer of grime.
His figures manipulate the audience’s expectation of scale, appearing as if the figures have been shrunk to fit an oversized frame. Within each canvas, the artist’s personality seeps through, a personality that is acutely self-conscious and aware of the things that have informed its scope of experience. This awareness is distilled into images that reflect the many personalities that make up society.

Shen Hua – Use of Tarpaulin and Bang Bang Series

Recently the artist explores the cultural connotations of tarpaulin, a cheap plastic material, used to make carrier bags or covers and mostly associated with developing countries or by low income people. By transforming the function and form of the material and associating it with mush higher class objects, the artists invites spectator to question the status of the material and the people who use it. An earlier work, the Bang Bang Series, portrays in oil painting the manual workers of Chongqing, known as the “bang bang”, who represent the last standing physical labourers in modern-day China. Since 2007, Shen Hua has veered away from the conventional usage of canvases by doing two-sided paintings of rural workers.

Shen Hua’s Sculpture

In early 2011, he took his art into a brand new territory with his experimental Car Accident sculpture series, in which he replicated the metallic wreckages after a car accident, an attempt to explore the relationship between visual impact and language, as well as the destruction of spirituality caused by the industrialization of modern China. With a keen eye for observation and reflection, Shen Hua tells a realistic story behind this alienated and neglected collective, echoing China’s current state as a country in transition.
Through his work, Shen Hua continues to challenge our awareness of contemporary social issues, while subtly prompting questions about our own identity as a collective within society.

Shen Hua – Awards

In 2007, Shen Hua won the bronze medal at the Today Art Student Annual Art Awards at the Today Art Museum in Beijing, and in 2006, he was among the Top 30 Finalists at the Sovereign Asian Art Foundation in Hong Kong.

Shen Hua lives and works in his native Chongqing.

YearName of the exhibitionMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2015Portrait GalleryKallenbach gallery, Amsterdamgroup
2013Voice of the UnseenVenice, Italygroup
2013Death and CityAmsterdam, Netherlandsgroup
2013Be Conscious YourselfShouZhou Museum, Jiangshugroup
2012John Moores Painting Prize Finalist ExhibitionShanghai Oil painting and Sculpture Art Institute, Shanghai, Chinagroup
2012ATTITUDE: 20th Anniversary ExhibitionParkview Green Gallery, Beijing, Chinagroup
2012LATITUDE/ATTITUDE: 20th Anniversary ExhibitionSchoeni Art Gallery, Hong Konggroup
2011Art Stage SingaporeMarina Bay Sands, Singaporegroup
2011Paintings of DistinctionChengdu Blueroof Art Gallery, Chengdu, Chinagroup
2011The image of the bodyChongqing Normal University, Chongqing, Chinasolo
2010Artist in Residence at The Josef and Anni Albers FoundationBethany, Connecticutgroup
2010Busan BiennaleBusan Cultural Centre, Busangroup
2010SHContemporary 10Shanghai Exhibition Centre, Shanghaigroup
2010Art HK 10 – Hong Kong International Art FairHong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, Hong Konggroup
2010Hong Kong ArtWalkSchoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kongroup
2009Huang Jue Ping CooliesSchoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kongsolo
2009We – The 1st Huang Jue Ping Annual Art ExhibitionDa Yin Pictorial Visual Space, Chongqinggroup
2009On-Stage 30 – Sichuan Fine Arts Institute Contemporary Oil Painting ExhibitionJapan China Friendship Centre Art Museum, Tokyogroup
2009Presenting Yourself – The 1st Western Chinese Contemporary Art Exchange ExhibitionChang An Contemporary Art Museum, Chongqinggroup
2009SHContemporary 09Shanghai Exhibition Centre, Shanghaigroup
2009China Situation - Chongqing PlatformContemporary Art Exhibition, 501 Contemporary Art Museum, Chongqinggroup
2009Hong Kong Art WalkSchoeni Art Gallery, Hong Konggroup
2008Chengdu Nong Yuan Annual ExhibitionInternational Nong Yuan Arts Village, Chengdugroup
2008Pattern - Contemporary Art Exhibition1001 Art Gallery, Shenzhengroup
2008I am Circulating - First Exhibition of Trihedron Art Group501 Contemporary Art Museum, Chongqinggroup
2008Sichuan Fine Arts Institute’s Young AttitudeTu Shan Wan Art Museum, Shanghaigroup
2008Perspective - Schoeni Art Gallery Exclusive Artists ExhibitionSchoeni Art Gallery, Hong Konggroup
2008Hong Kong Art WalkSchoeni Art Gallery, Hong Konggroup
2008Schoeni Art Gallery Overseas ExhibitionsArt Beijing, National Agricultural Exhibition Centre, Beijinggroup
2008Re-Collection, A Retrospective Look at 15 years of Art & VisionSchoeni Art Gallery, Hong Konggroup
2008Testimony of Brilliance - To Celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Chongqing Municipal GovernmentChongqinggroup
2008501 Art Station501 Contemporary Art Museum, Chongqinggroup
2008A + A 2007 Round Two Chongqing Art Museum, Chongqinggroup
2008Myriad Forms and ShapesTank Loft, Chongqing Contemporary Art Centre, Chongqinggroup
2008Grass Root StorySichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqinggroup
2008Post-Post EraArt Hunting, Chongqinggroup
2008Low Level Humanities - 21 Cases in Contemporary ArtMuseum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Songzhuang, Beijinggroup
2008Painting DivisionToday Art Museum, Beijinggroup
2008Hong Kong Art WalkSchoeni Art Gallery, Hong Konggroup
2008Chongqing ChiliesQingdao Art Museum, Qingdaogroup
2008Individual Power - Young Artists ExhibitionAo Sai Gallery, Shanghaigroup
2008National Distinguished Art Institutions Teachers & Students ExhibitionLiangnan Fine Art Museum, Shenzhengroup
2008Chinese Art Collecting and Investment ExpositionBeijing Exhibition Centre, Beijinggroup
2008Hong Kong Art WalkSchoeni Art Gallery, Hong Konggroup
2008Art MiamiMiami Beach Convention Center, Miamigroup
2008MiArt11th International Modern and Contemporary Art Fair, Milangroup
2007From the Countryside to the City IISchoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kongsolo
2006From the Countryside to the CitySchoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kongsolo
2005Hong Kong Art WalkSchoeni Art Gallery, Hong Konggroup
2004Rotational Summer ExhibitionSchoeni Art Gallery, Hong Konggroup
2004The Third Chongqing Fine Art ExhibitionChongqinggroup
2003Rotational Summer ExhibitionSchoeni Art Gallery, Hong Konggroup
2003The First Oil Painting ExhibitionChongqinggroup
2002Rotational Summer ExhibitionSchoeni Art Gallery, Hong Konggroup
2001Sichuan Fine Arts Institute Year of 99’ Oil Painting Department Graduation ExhibitionSichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqinggroup
2001Old Hu and Son collected by China ClubBerlingroup
2000The 5th Sichuan Fine Arts Institute Annual Alumni ExhibitionSichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chonqinggroup
1999The 4th Sichuan Fine Arts Institute Annual Alumni ExhibitionSichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqinggroup