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    Barebone Creatures | The works of Shen Shaomin

    "Experimental Studio no.1" 2005
    bonemeal, glue
    157 x 270 x 17 cm

    The Australia-based Chinese artist Shen Shaomin, seemingly a maverick in real life, stocks up in his studio with ghastly animal bones. A good command of this distinctive raw material - also a metaphor for death - facilitates his search of a spiritual world which has been long floating afar. In fact, Shen adopts a less-material approach to highlight the quality of spiritual value. Constantly skeptical about the mundane social rules, he casts a stare at the starry sky from time to time. With a silent attentive listen paid to a remote echo down from the prehistoric world, artist goes into and ponders upon the fortune of all creatures the Earth bears and rears, which is reflected in his work as a classic-idealistic perfection and a near ruthless visual pursuit as well as the pure persistent humanism of an intellectual.

    Read and see more at Galerie Urs Meile


    Installation "Unknown Creature no.1" 2002
    bonemeal, glue
    700 x 60 x 130 cm


    "Mosquito" 2003
    bonemeal, glue
    ca. 200 x 200 x 200 cm

    Shen Shaomin adopts the role of being anthropologist, scientist, and author of his own fabricated mythologies. Constructed from real animal bones, his sculptures collectively create a bestiary of fictional creatures that are wondrous, frightening, and strange. Reminiscent of Borges’s Book of Imaginary Beings, Shen’s absurd assemblages exude an ancient wisdom, authenticating the magic of fable and folklore, while alluding to contemporary issues of genetic modification, consequence of environmental threat, and concepts of the alien and exotic.

    In pieces such as
    Three Headed Monster and Mosquito, the skeletal remains of ‘extinct’ creatures are presented with the validity of museum display. Their colossal scale reinforces their imagined prehistoric origin as Jurassic curiosities and spiritual totems. Assembled from genuine ossified animal parts, his creatures are simultaneously familiar and perplexing, indicating a warped and uncomfortable process of evolution. Often carving into his surfaces, Shen adorns his creations with scrimshaw, further entwining humanistic reference into his disturbing zoological evidence.

    via The Saatchi Gallery


    Installation "Unknown Creature no.9" 2002
    bonemeal, glue
    50 pieces


    "Egg no. 3" 2003
    bonemeal, glue
    17 x 17 x 26 cm

    Mon, Jan 7, 2008  Permanent link
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