Shen Jing-dong Colours the SAR


September 17, 2010 | BY MEIMEI SONG learns about the craft of Nanjing-born artist Shen Jing-dong, and why collectors such as Zhang Zi-yi love his works


Upon Chinese artist Shen Jing-dong's recent visit to Hong Kong, we sit down with this up-and-coming Nanjing-born artist -who has been slowly gathering substantial global attention with his political-inspired artwork - to learn about his time in the People's Liberation Army (PLA), his fans and the new direction he will be taking. Shen, as it were, started painting as he left his 18 year tenure in the Nanjing Military Drama Troupe, and started taking photographs of himself in official uniform. From there, he began creating comical caricature porcelain statues, and later began painting these fictional characters onto canvas. These artworks, heavily styled with Chinese references, soon became immensely popular; demonstrating his incredible knack for art and understanding of the political architecture that gained international attention and fans such as Zhang Zi-yi. Who or what are your three most inspirational figures or objects?
Shen Jing-dong: My Father, Chairman Mao Ze-dong and Chinese painter Qi Bai-shi

AT: You use bold and vibrant colours, how do you choose your colour palettes?
SJD: To inspire my colour palettes, I think of the colour that best represents the Chinese public, sometimes I draw reference from Chinese village art

AT: Your works have become collective favourites of actress Zhang Zi-yi, could you tell us which ones she particularly admires?
SJD: Zhang Zi-yi has come to my gallery three times, I find that the more animated and adorable my work is the more she likes my work.

AT: Do you personally own a piece of clothing from your collaboration with Today is Cool?
SJD: In fact I have it all! Everything ranging from the clothes, hat, and the mobile cover!


AT: Could you tell me more about your approach towards art?
SJD: My inspiration lies mainly from my 18 years spent in the People's Liberation Army

AT: What medium would you like to experiment with in the future?
SDJ: I would really like to try out art in 3D, to create a heart-felt story of a hero.

AT: The soldier in your recent exhibition plays a slightly different role, what does the Hero & Mickey Mouse art piece represent?
SDJ: Mickey Mouse represents America, while the heroes represent China. I would like the heroes to be as popular as Mickey Mouse.

AT: Hypothetically, If you were stranded on an island and you could take only one painting with you, which one would it be?
SDJ: It would my piece Navy, because they navy isn't scared of pirates

AT: What can we anticipate to see in your next collection?
SDJ: In my next collection I would like a to paint a series of singers, actors, friends and adorable animals.

AT: What are your favourite places in China and where do you go for inspiration?
SDJ: I love the city of Nanjing because it is my hometown. My inspiration comes from everything whether it be eating, going to the toilet, walking, sleeping, dreaming. Anytime really...

AT: If you could exhibit your work at an impossible venue where would it be?
SJD: The moon!

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