主持设计的“云美术馆”荣获 2022 AMP 美国建筑大师奖展览空间类别最高奖“Best of Best”、2022 年法国巴黎DNA 设计大奖“市民空间类别大奖”、2022 台湾金点设计奖；2017 年作品《峰会》被评为香港巴塞尔最受瞩目的十件作品之一；
Shenzhen · Guangming International Public Art Season
A Herd of Zebras Crossing the Road
- Shen Shaomin Art Exhibition
Artist | Shen Shaomin
Curator | Feng Boyi
Opening | Nov 29, 2023
Duration | Nov 29, 2023 - Mar 10, 2024
Venue | Exhibition Hall A, 2F, Art Museum of Guangming Culture and Art Center
Publicity and Cultural Development Special Fund Project, Guangming, Shenzhen
Organizers | Publicity Department of CPC Committee of Guangming District, Shenzhen; The Culture, Radio, Television, Tourism and Sports Bureau of Guangming District
Co-organizers | Shengshi Zaixian (Shenzhen) Culture and Art Development Co., Ltd; Shenzhen Overseas Chinese Town Cultural and Sports Industry Management Co.,Ltd
Execution | Guangming Culture and Art Center; Science + Art Joint Lab
Academic Support | Public Art Research Institute of Benyuan Design and Research Center, Shenzhen University
Technical Support | Shenzhen Institute of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics for Society
Opening Forum | Contemporary Art Keywords
Time | Nov 29, 2023 14:30-16:30
Venue | Lecture Hall, 4F, Art Museum of Guangming Culture and Art Center
Speakers | Du Xiyun, Hu Bin, Shen Shaomin, Wang Naiyi, Zhong Gang (in alphabetical order)
Host | Feng Boyi
Setting Up and Crossing Barrier
by Feng Boyi
Annotation of the Theme
A Herd of Zebras Crossing the Road is one and the only line of verse in I Am the Rule of My Own, a poem written by Shen Shaomin. When the “natural” species of zebras wander in the “artificial” modern city, the zebra stripes overlap and entangle with bionic traffic signs, constituting a mixed, fuzzy and uncertain situation full of pictorial art. The theme of this exhibition, on the other hand, serves as a metaphor of the gap between natural ecology and social environment, which means the distance from spatial boundary to spatial displacement, or stopping “in between”, even arousing the absurd sense of a line separating the space. This is the parallax illusion of Shen Shaomin’s poetic imagination, and also his witty cover-up of art. This way of setting up and crossing barrier, in my view, has become the basic appeal of his artistic creation, or it is also the foothold of his continuous thinking vs. reflection and exploration vs. criticism.
Shen Shaomin uses “time” as a scale to test the changes of the world, which has become one of the mainlines of his works in this solo exhibition, such as Machine of Time and Between Instancy. He folds the cycles of time with single or plural clocks, symbolizing the forward vs. elapse and radical vs. backward implied in the time, and its being in the state of endless contradiction. On the one hand, it is a straightforward and vigorous expression of the status quo, in response to the consensus and perception that have been generated in the hearts of people; On the other hand, it signifies that we are in the time fracture zone amidst the social transformation, where everything becomes illusive and confusing. And sensing the parallelism of ”existence and time“ has turned into the realistic basis of synchrony and diachrony of his artistic creation. For him, time is not only the manifestation of the change of all things in the world, but also the witness of the only existence. It is as if he was a catcher of time, using the oscillating pendulum to pick up the scale and weight of time again.
In his work Memory of Sound, Shen Shaomin intends to enlarge our portable earphones and form them into a sculpture; Distance of Sound, in another way, uses dynamic installation to transform music into scale, presenting the tension of music. This setting establishes a direct interaction with the daily life of the public, producing a close relationship of personal intimacy and empathy. In this process, the way he creates poetry and the audience intervenes help construct and transform a resonant and interactive audio-visual discourse interface between the personal privacy and the publicity, thus getting rid of and surpassing the single form of traditional public art works. This is his attitude toward equal communication and respect for the public participation, bridging the gap between artists and audiences, works and participants, and deducing a symbiotic and shared “presence“ situation.
In his series of works Reconciliation, Fraudulent Scheme of Rose and Material Debris, which he has “processed and been processed”, Shen Shaomin uses hyper-realistic techniques to shape the artists with classic significance in art history who have a far-reaching influence on the Chinese contemporary art - Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Beuys and Andy Warhol - into lively realistic sculptures, which are then installed in dark geometric structures. This is his attitude and way toward the classics, and also his reflection and challenge on the cognitive style and narrative rules developed in him from the classics, and this “mutual image” relationship is also his disruption and decomposition of the original creative ideology of representative artists. When dealing with the classics from within and destroying its control with the energy remaining in the classics, it can be said that his creation has changed the value and direction of the previous classics, making these familiar images unfamiliar and setting himself free after getting rid of the forces and rules of the classics. Meanwhile, the standards provided by these familiar classics become transient and unreliable, and his creation also makes people feel a taboo-like pleasure and lingering thought in the wittiness and humor. The concept and definition of contemporary art not only have the attribute of realistic criticism, but also the judgment of the art system itself. Although it does not convey the so-called rightness, it gives us more different perspectives and possibilities for what have been generally accepted as usual and fixed.
Shen Shaomin's large installation, Chinese Carp, consists of 2,000 simulated silicone Chinese carps that he has created and placed in an oversized fishing net. The life of the carp itself, as well as the implied meaning in Chinese traditional culture and consumer culture, become the symbolic resources of symbolism and metaphors that he uses. In fact, in the way of reconstruction and replacement, it is a visual manifestation with warning and foreknowledge of the continuous destruction of the natural ecology. The impact of modernization involves all areas of human life, especially the natural environment for human existence. But the epistemological worship of the infinite capacity of the human subject, and the overdevelopment of natural resources in the economic field, are exactly the breeding ground for modernization, in which we are trapped, with no way to escape. Therefore, this warning fable reflects a psychological hint of convergent culture, which should be understood as a way of reflection beyond reality. We can say that this is a multidimensional induction between Shen Shaomin and us about the current situation and the future, and more his anxiety about the natural environment and ecological crisis, and a reminder of alerting tension. Perhaps it is the profound social problems hidden behind this appearance that can show Shen’s unemotional insight and expressive force on the scene of the art gallery, and arouse the audience to identify with the psychological and conscious crisis of human existence. It is as if the surrounding of “us” was the present of “them”.
In Shen Shaomin’s Me and Myself, the scene in the mirrors and the sight outside the realm are like guiding you into a labyrinth, where it is mysterious and fully alluring. As viewers, we are almost always looking for the exit to the labyrinth, and this action runs through the whole process of our examination. But the path to the exit is always confusing, the visual experience accumulated over the years seems to be of no use here, and everything has to be experienced all over again. Sometimes, a bright light appears in front of us, which we think is the hope to guide us out of the labyrinth, not knowing that it is still our illusion and fantasy. Obviously, he is not an optimistic prophet, but a confused observer on the edge and a boundary crosser.
Shen Shaomin has been concerned about China’s natural and social ecological environment, and he has expressed his imagination, vision and consciousness of questioning in the face of the rapid changes in China with the eyes of an artist. And these indispensable clues of alertness will guide you through the darkness. After crossing over the plausibility, he has far more imaginary spaces than the artistic expression with strong sense of reality, highlighting his ability to freely traverse these media and boundaries in new context. There is a lot of energy and imagination in his works that we need, a kind of infinite variation that art can seize. He wades in the river of life and observes the growth of all things.
We have many barriers in our life, some are not set by others, but by yourself. Setting up and crossing barriers is what Shen Shaomin wants to do, and it is also the way on which he lives and expresses his work. The late poet Gu Cheng wrote A Generation:“The black night gave me black eyes, still I use them to seek light.” And there are only two lines in the poem.
Shen Shaomin：Contemporary Artist, Documentary Director, Poet
Director of the Public Art Research Institute, Benyuan Design and Research Center, Shenzhen University
Art Director of the Science + Art Joint Lab, Shenzhen Institute of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics for Society
Currently based in Shenzhen, Beijing (China), and Sydney (Australia). Multi-disciplinary and cross-media, notable works span installation, video, documentary, conceptual painting, poetry, public art, among other formats.
Recent large-scale solo exhibitions: A Herd of Zebras Crossing the Road; Shen Shaomin's Brief History of Science; Chinese Carp; There is No Problem; Let it Be, Wind; Project No.1; Kowtow Pump; Bonsai; Fighter-X.
Recent curated exhibition: The Deduction of the Question.
Participated influential group exhibitions: Sydney Biennale; Liverpool Biennale; Busan Biennale; Kiev Biennale; Shanghai Biennale; Guangzhou Triennial; The Shenzhen-Hongkong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture; Macao Biennale.
Leading designer of The "Cloud Art Museum" which was honored with the highest category award, Best of Best, of 2022 AMP (The Architecture MasterPrize) ; the Paris DNA Design Award 2022, the "Civic Building" Category, and the Taiwan Golden Pin Design Award 2022. Summit was selected as one of the 10 most impressive exhibits in 2017 Art Basel Hong Kong.
Documentary films: I am Chinese; The Vanishing Village; Sertar Diary; One Monk Temple.
Published poetry book: I Am the Result of Myself; Propping My Shadow.
Notable works have been collected worldwide by art galleries, institutions, universities, foundations and collectors.
Feng Boyi: Male, born in Beijing in the 1960s. Han Nationality; Political Status: Masses; Bachelor of History; Married; B-type blood; Chinese Zodiac: Mouse; Libra, rising to Virgo. Career: From the late 1980s to the present, he is good at curating, commenting and editing works.