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Shen Jiawei: Brothers and Sisters


18 December 2012

As part of the China Studies Centre's 2012 Annual Conference, Shen Jiawei's solo exhibition, Brothers and Sisters had attracted great attention from the general public as well as the art circle.

Sydney's acclaimed art critic John McDonald, had written a lengthy review titled "Stretched narratives"  on this exhibition for Sydney Morning Herald's Spectrum.

"Shen's painting style has been described pejoratively as realistic or academic, but there is nothing remotely realistic about these impossible group portraits. A more thoughtful critic might argue that an artist who aims to engage didactically with history must also question the methods he employs rather than simply rely on conventional styles of painting. This was the view of Chinese avant-garde artist Huang Yong Ping when I showed him the brochure for Shen's exhibition in Brisbane, during the opening of the 7th Asia Pacific Triennial." John wrote.

 "The truth lies somewhere in the sum total of experience of the figures Shen brings to life in this painting. It's a quality that cannot be extracted and pinned down. It remains tantalisingly out of reach; but we look, and know it exists." John concluded.