About Shen Fan
The richly hued monochromatic patterns and organic forms for which Shen Fan is known draw on Western Minimalism, but maintain a distinctly Chinese character, not least because they are painted on rice paper. The repetition of abstract shapes overcome any strains of individualism or desire for self-expression the artist might harbor, striving instead for the spiritual transcendence of the simplest of forms. Shen began abstracting his landscapes when he switched from ink-wash oil paint in the 1980s and has since also experimented with mixed-media installations. He created quite a stir with his monumental “painting” created in tribute to the prominent early-20th-century landscape painter Huang Binhong for the 2006 Shanghai Biennial. Its “brushstrokes” are composed of 2,500 neon tubes that alight in groups over the course of a few hours.
Chinese, b. 1952, Jangyin, Jiangsu province, China, based in Shanghai, China