Beijing artist Shen Liang weaves the past and the present, tradition and daily life, history and memory through his works

Shen Liang thrives in old things and things that contain history in them.

In State Banquet and Civilian Food, Shen Liang was inspired by the treats like biscuits and sweets his mother would bring home from work hidden in her handkerchief. The name of the treat, price, and ingredients were painted on the handkerchief with watercolor.

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For the artist, it wasn’t easy to look for old and yellowed papers to use so he painted landscapes and women from an ancient era on the covers of the old books he collected. We can see here the artist’s love for history and memory and we can easily feel the the traditional charm found in these old books and the subjects on the covers.

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Through this series Neon Landscapes, the artist tackles the interaction of tradition and daily life. The artist weaved a thread of neon lights onto the duplicate of Chinese scroll painting on the left. On top, there’s a Chinese character 串 which means “string” or “to string together”. On the right,  the artist painted the eyes of the characters (the same as the ones on the left) black to suggest some kind of censorship. He also added a woman whose mouth is gagged and arms bound. On top of the scroll painting, it says 不雅 which means “disgraceful” or “vulgar”.

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山水也霓虹 Neon Landscapes

The pieces collected here are currently exhibited at Lin & Lin Gallery in Taipei.

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