Shen Jiawei: Brothers and Sisiters
5 December 2012 to 17 December 2012
5-17 December 2012
Shen Jiawei's epic painting series, Brothers and Sisters, depicts more than 300 historical figures active in Chinese public life from the summer of 1936 to the summer of 1937, that is, the twelve months leading up to the second Sino-Japanese War. Shen sees Brothers and Sisters as a pictorial representation of Solzhenitsyn's Red Wheel, but featuring mainly Chinese subjects. It consists of three 6-panel segments, with each segment measuring 198cm in height and 822cm in width. The first segment is titled Revolution and focuses on communist personalities, the second is titled National Salvation and focuses on nationalist personalities, and the third is titled Enlightenment and focuses on Chinese intellectuals.
Revolution was the first segment of this large-scale series to be completed. Of the 128 figures portrayed, 113 are identifiable and include notable personalities such as Leon Trotsky, Chen Duxiu, Song Qingling, Mao Zedong, Zhu De, Zhou Enlai, Chiang Kai-shek, Song Meiling, Zhang Xueliang, American journalist Edgar Snow, Aussie (William Henry) "Donald of China", and ANZAC digger Rewi Alley. The historical figures painted in Revolution are based on photographs contained in their archives.
Spain 1937 is Shen's most recent work, and presents a group portrait of world famous intellectuals who had participated in the Spanish Civil War: George Orwell, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Neruda, André Malraux, Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, Joris Ivens, Julian Bell, and Dr Norman Bethune. Included in the painting are also Garcia Lorca's photograph and Pablo Picasso's Guernica.
Born in Shanghai in 1948,Shen Jiawei is largely self taught and became a well known artist in China in mid 1970s. His works at that time have become a part of Chinese art history during the "Cultural Revolution" period, and were shown in leading exhibitions about Chinese art at the Guggenheim Museum (1998) and Asia Society Museum (2008), and many museums and galleries in Australia and China. From 1982 to 1984 he studied advanced courses at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and worked as a professional artist in Liaoning Art Studio from 1981 to 1988. He has won the Chinese National Art Prizes five times. Shen came to Australia in 1989 and has worked as a full-time artist in Sydney since then. He has been a finalist of the Archibald Prize 13 times and runner-up on one of these occasions. She won the Mary MacKillop Art Award in 1995 and Sir John Sulman Prize in 2006. By official commission, he has painted portraits of Princess Mary of Denmark and Former PM John Howard for the National Portrait Gallery and Parliament House, both in Canberra. His works in many public collections such as the National Museum, the National Art Museum, both in Beijing, and other museums and galleries in the US, Australia and China.
Time: 9:00am-6:00 Monday to Friday, 11:00am-6:00pm Saturday
Contact: Events Officer