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Shen, Jiawei

Ph.D. John Clark in Black Kimono
Other titles:

1993
Keywords: John Clark, Ph.D., Visual Arts Academic Art Historian,

Medium:

Prize awarded: No

Archibald, Exhibited: 3 April - 9 May 1993 (25)
Illustrations:
Dodd, Terri, '1993 Archibald Prizewinner: a sign of the times', 'Australian Artist', Volume IX, Number 11, May 1993, p 16, bw.

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Shen, Jiawei

Hedda's Camera (Portrait of Claire Roberts)
Other titles:

1994
Keywords: Claire Roberts, Visual Arts Photographer,

Medium:

Prize awarded: No

Archibald, Exhibited: 19 March - 1 May 1994 [26]

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Shen, Jiawei

The Artist Couple: M. Huang and F. Yu
Other titles:

1995
Keywords: Huang Miaozi, Yu Feng, Group Portrait, Visual Arts Painter Literature Author,

Notes:
(First names M. and F. cited in title in western tradition. In Chinese tradition names are reversed). Huang Miaozi and Yu Feng are former leaders of the intelligentsia in China and are now permanent residents, living in Brisbane. Born in 1913 and 1916 respectively, they are both artists, writers and art critics. Huang specializes in calligraphy and is also a poet. Yu is a painter and art theorist, a former curator at the National Art gallery, Beijing and the daughter and niece of Yu Hua and Yu Dafur, respectively, prominent lawyer and major poet/writer, - both were executed by the Japanese invasion forces in WW11. During the so-called cultural revolution both artists spent seven years in Qincheng Gaol, under the orders of Madame Mao and they migrated to Australia just after the Tiananmen Square massacre in mid 1989. They both hold teaching positions at Griffith University (Qld). (Source is AGNSW text notes to the 1995 Archibald Prize Exhibition).
Medium:

Prize awarded: No

Archibald, Exhibited: 8 April - 21 May 1995 (21)

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Shen, Jiawei

Self Portrait with G.E. (Chinese) Morrison
Other titles:

1996
Keywords: Jiawei Shen, Self Portrait, George Ernest (Chinese) Morrison, Group Portrait, Visual Arts Painter Media Journalist Literature Author,

Notes:
Jiawei Shen was born in China in 1940 and largely self-taught due to the closure of all art schools during the so-called Cultural Revolution, Shen was a famous artist in his home country by the mid seventies. With the end of the Cultural Revolution he became ' set designer for the Chinese Army's opera troupe and he was also active as an artist specialising in historical subjects. In 1981 he obtained membership of the Chinese Artists' Association and in 1982 his work was selected for exhibition at the Salon du Printemps, Paris,' the year he began a two year course of advanced study at the Central Acadamy of Fine Arts. Shen migrated to Australia in 1989 and his work has appeared in several group exhibitions including the Archibald Prize Exhibitions of 1993, 1994, 1995. He won the Mary Mckillop Art Award in 1995. "Chinese' Morrison was born 1862 in Geelong, where about '20% of the Geelong population was Chinese as a result of the goldrush'. Morrison, 'a famous newspaper correspondent...settled in Peking ... where one of the main streets used to be named after him. In 1895 he published a book called An Australian in China, which is an account of his remarkable journey through pre-revolutionary China.' Morrison died in 1920. A photograph from the Mitchell Library collection was Shen's reference for his posthumous portrait of Morrison. Shen plans to use the 'great many photographs and a great deal of information' which Morrison left behind, as the basis for what he calls 'an on-going dialogue (with Morrison) in paint'. (Source is AGNSW text notes to the 1996 Archibald Prize Exhibition).
Medium:

Prize awarded: No

Archibald, Exhibited: 9 March - 28 April 1996 (22)

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Shen, Jiawei

Seven self portraits
Other titles:

1997
Keywords: Jiawei Shen, Self Portrait, Multiple Portrait, Visual Arts Painter,

Notes:
In this self portrait, Jiawei Shen has borrowed the conception of reincarnation from the Buddist faith to express some of his feelings about history and his life. The work is comprised of seven self portraits and images of himself in reincarnated personas.
The artist also included a projected image of himself as a kangaroo in the year 2096. Shen chose the kangaroo because, he was born in the year of the Rat, and as he says, “the kangaroo is a rat with a pouch”. Shen migrated to Australia in 1989 and in this painting the artist seems to be dealing with both his Chinese past and Australian present and future.
Throughout this self portrait, Jiawei Shen is concerned with Chinese history and its tendency to repeat itself. However, as he says, “ One painting can have many different meanings and I encourage people to make their own assumptions about the painting”.
Born in China in 1948, Jiawei Shen is largely self-taught (all Chinese art schools were closed with the onset of the Cultural Revolution). Shen nonetheless had become a famous artist in China by the mid 1970’s. At the end of the Cultural Revolution he worked as a set designer for the Chinese Army’s Opera troupe and he was active as an artist specialising in historical subjects. In 1981 he obtained membership of the Chinese Artists’Association and in 1982 his work was selected for exhibition at the Salon du Printemps, Paris. The same year he entered the Central Academy of Fine Arts for two years advanced study.
Jiawai Shen’s works are represented in the China Art Gallery and the Museum of the Chinese Revolution, both in Beijing. Since arriving in Australia in 1989, Shen has exhibited in many group exhibitions including The Archibald in 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996. He was the winner of The Mary McKillop Art Award in 1995. Jiawei Shen was born in China in 1940 and largely self-taught due to the closure of all art schools during the so-called Cultural Revolution, Shen was a famous artist in his home country by the mid seventies. With the end of the Cultural Revolution he became ' set designer for the Chinese Army's opera troupe and he was also active as an artist specialising in historical subjects. In 1981 he obtained membership of the Chinese Artists' Association and in 1982 his work was selected for exhibition at the Salon du Printemps, Paris,' the year he began a two year course of advanced study at the Central Acadamy of Fine Arts. Shen migrated to Australia in 1989 and his work has appeared in several group exhibitions including the Archibald Prize Exhibitions of 1993, 1994, 1995. He won the Mary Mckillop Art Award in 1995. (Source is AGNSW curatorial annotations to the 1996 Archibald Prize Competition ).

Medium:

Prize awarded: No Highly Commended

Archibald, Exhibited: 22 March - 11 May 1997 (25)
Illustrations:
advertisement, Sydney Morning Herald: Spectrum, 19 April 1997, p 5, colour.

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Shen, Jiawei

Eyewitness (portrait of of George Gittoes AM)
Other titles:

1998
Keywords: George Gittoes, A,M., Visual Arts Painter,

Notes:
George Gittoes AM is one of Australia’s best known figurative artists. Returning to Australia in 1970, after studying in the US, he was one of the founding artists of the famous Yellow House. In the last decade his work has taken him all over the world from Nicaragua to Northern Ireland. Much of that time has been spent with UN peace keeping forces in war torn areas such as Somalia, Cambodia, Mozambique, the Middle East and Bosnia.
Jiawei Shen noticed Gittoes’ work shortly after arriving in Australia
in 1989 and was fascinated by “his strong expressionist means and social realist manner. I feel we are both history painters, a rare animal becoming extinct in the contemporary art field”, says Shen.
They met in 1996 and became friends. “I found that his style is not accidental but formed from his whole life, from his heart”, says Shen. “The difference between him and most war artists is that George is a pacifist and always focuses on the destiny of war sufferers and refugees.”
Shen decided to paint Gittoes’ portrait after seeing a slide he had taken in Rawanda of a wooden statue of a black woman lying abandoned on a battlefield, which Shen saw as a metaphor for war and the victims of war. Gittoes did not want to be painted in an army uniform, instead he is pictured on the killing fields wearing colourful studio clothes. “That is the first dislocation in the painting”, says Shen. “The second dislocation is on the statue’s figure: I have tried to suggest that the civilisation was destroyed by the war.”
Born in China in 1948, Shen was widely recognised in his homeland as a history painter. He was five times awarded National Art Exhibition Prizes and his works are in the collections of both the China Art Gallery and the Museum of the Chinese Revolution in Beijing. Since arriving in Sydney in 1989 Shen has worked as a full time painter. He has won many art awards including the Mary MacKillop Art Award in 1995. He has been a finalist in the Archibald Prize every year since 1993.

Medium:

Prize awarded: No

Archibald, Exhibited: 14 March - 19 April 1998 (24)
Illustrations:
Dodd, Terri, '1998 Archibald Prize: that's entertainment', 'Australian Artist', Volume XIV, Number 11, May 1998, p 16, colour.

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Shen, Jiawei

William Yang
Other titles:

1999
Keywords: William Yang, Multiple Portrait, Group Portrait, Visual Arts Photographer,

Notes:
Homage to Brett Whiteley Homage to Patrick White William Yang is a third generation Australian-born Chinese artist. He has photographed the life and times of Sydney over the past 25 years and his photographs are represented in collections around Australia. They have also been collected into solo exhibitions, books and theatrical slide-shows which Yang has performed with great success here and overseas.
Jiawei Shen was inspired to paint Yang’s portrait by something that Yang wrote: “The Chinese believe that the true self, the real ‘I’ is a spirit which never dies, which is eternal. At death the spirit sheds the physical body and begins a journey into the next world.”
Shen took this as his starting point together with a text from the sage Lao Tze: “There is no difference between the living and the dead, they are the same channel of vitality. Loved ones are never lost. They are always here, in the heart.” Yang is pictured surrounded by his family,
the home where he grew up in Queensland, and artist Brett Whiteley and author Patrick White whom he famously photographed.
Born in Shanghai, Shen was largely self-taught, becoming recognised
as an artist in China in the mid 1970s. His works were hung in the major public collections and he won five national art prizes in China. Since moving to Australia in 1989, Shen has worked as a full time painter.
He won the Mary MacKillop Art Award in 1995 and has been a finalist
in the Archibald Prize every year since 1993. In 1997 he was named the runner-up.

Medium:

Prize awarded: No

Archibald, Exhibited: 20 March - 9 May 1999 (30)
Illustrations:
Dodd, Terri, 'Contemporary painting wins 78th Archibald Prize', 'Australian Artist', Volume XV, Number 12, June 1999, p 34, colour.

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Shen, Jiawei

Love
Other titles:

1999
Keywords:

Medium:

Prize awarded: No

Sulman, Exhibited: 20 March - 9 May 1999 (86)

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Shen, Jiawei

The Lady from Shanghai (Jenny Sages)
Other titles:

2002
Keywords: Jenny Sages
, Visual Arts Painter,

Notes:
Jenny Sages has been asked many times by fellow artists whether they could paint her portrait but she has always said no. Finally when Jiawei Shen asked she relented. “Jiawei is a friend and [like Sages] he was born in Shanghai so there were several circumstances that made me want to do it,” she says.
Shen met Sages many years ago when they were both finalists in the Archibald Prize. “Even before that, I had seen and enjoyed her work,” he says. “And I knew from the c.v. at her solo exhibition that she was born in the same Chinese city as me, into a Russian-Jewish family. The year I was born, 1948, she left. An American movie entitled The Lady from Shanghai was also screening. I will never forget when she met me the first time, she asked me in perfect Shanghainese, ‘have you eaten dinner?’ which is the same as ‘how are you?’ in Australian.”
Though Sages, who is also represented in the final of this year’s Archibald Prize, admits she finds the whole notion of having her portrait painted a little confronting, she says that Shen’s portrait is “exactly like me – every liver spot, every blue vein! I don’t know what I feel, it’s given me a whole new look out on portraits.”
Shen is a largely self-taught artist, learning his art during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 70s. He did post-graduate studies at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, becoming widely recognised in his homeland as a history painter. He won the Chinese National Art Prize five times during the 1980s. Since moving to Sydney in 1989, he has worked full-time as a painter. He won the Mary MacKillop Art Award in 1995 and has been a finalist in the Archibald Prize on seven previous occasions and was runner-up in 1997.

Medium:

Prize awarded: No

Archibald, Exhibited: 1 June - 21 July 2002 (28)
Illustrations:
"Cherry Hood wins $35,000 Archibald Prize : all the finalists in this year's Archibald Prize", Australian artist, no.218, Aug. 2002, p.16, col. ill.

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Shen, Jiawei

Tom Hughes
Other titles:

2004
Keywords: Tom Hughes QC
, Legal,

Notes:
Tom Hughes is a renowned Australian barrister and QC. A member of the RAAF during World War II, Hughes went on to become attorney-general for the Gorton government. His father, Geoffrey F Hughes, was a solicitor, flying ace and war hero. His brother Robert Hughes is the well-known art critic while his daughter, Lucy Turnbull, was recently the lord mayor of Sydney. ‘At 80 he is still game for a fight in court,’ says Jiawei Shen.
In 2003 Shen was commissioned to paint Hughes for the National Portrait Gallery of Australia. They had many sittings together for that painting, which was a more formal, traditional portrait than this one. Having become familiar with Hughes and having watched him in action in court, Shen was keen to paint him again and concentrate this time on his character. ‘He’s very strong and powerful in court.’ The light background makes it a more modern-looking portrait than the previous one, says Shen.
Shen is a largely self-taught artist, learning his art during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 70s. He did post-graduate studies at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and became widely recognised in his homeland as a history painter. He won the Chinese National Art Prize five times during the 1980s. Since moving to Sydney in 1989, he has worked full time as a painter. In 1995 he won the Mary MacKillop Art Award. In 2003 he was commissioned by the Melbourne City Council to paint the lord mayor. He has been a finalist in the Archibald Prize on eight previous occasions and was runner-up in 1997.

Medium: oil on canvas

Prize awarded: No

Archibald, Exhibited: 27 March - 16 May 2004 (34)
Illustrations:
'Craig Ruddy's courage is rewarded: the Winner and all the finalists in the Art Gallery of New South Wales' 2004 Archibald Prize', 'Australian Artist', Volume XX, Number 12, June 2004, p 56, colour.
Greiner, Kara, 'Didn't we just do this?', 'The Chaser' [Sydney], Volume VI, Number 8, "Mid-week, April-ish", 2004, p 22, colour.

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Shen, Jiawei

John So, the Lord Mayor of Melbourne
Other titles:

2005
Keywords: Right Hon the Lord Mayor, John So, Politician Local Government Lord Mayor of Melbourne,

Notes:
Jiawei Shen has been represented in the Archibald Prize on nine previous occasions and was named runner-up in 1997. Unlike most of his portraits, this is an “official” one. Normally, although his sitters pose for him, their poses are quite natural, depictions of everyday life. In this portrait, John So not only wears the Lord Mayor’s robe but is draped in a possum skin coat. The coat was an official gift from an Aboriginal elder in 2001, when he became the first Lord Mayor of Melbourne to be elected by popular vote. He was re-elected in 2004.
“The skin is an important symbol of the source of his political power,” says Shen. “Robe and skin, along with the chain, give him a ceremonial status. His pose needed to be ceremonial too. His right hand is held in a symbolic gesture as if he is making a pledge. In his eyes we see confidence and in the corners of his mouth, stamina. So this is an official politician’s portrait. For me it is a first attempt but hundreds of thousands of similar portraits have been made over the centuries.” Shen’s first portrait of John So was painted for Melbourne City Council as an official commission in 2003. This is a second portrait and is similar to the first one.
Shen believes what makes this portrait unique, is the use of three cultural symbols from three different continents brought together in harmony: the traditional European Lord Mayor’s robe and chain, the Australian Aboriginal traditional possum skin coat, and a Chinese face. “It is an extremely new landscape of Australian political life in the 21st century,” says Shen.
Born in Shanghai, Shen was a well-known artist in China before he moved to Australia in 1989. One of his earliest works was shown in the China: 5000 years exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1998. Since moving to Sydney in 1989 he has worked full-time as a painter. In 1995 he won the Mary MacKillop Art Award and received a medal from Pope John Paul II. Earlier this year he was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra to paint a portrait of Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. Other commissions include portraits of Tom Hughes in 2003 and the Lord Mayor of Sydney in 2004.

Medium: oil on canvas

Prize awarded: No

Archibald, Exhibited: 30 April - 3 July 2005 (31)
Illustrations:
'Art Prizes: Saintly wins!', 'Australian Artist', Number 253, July 2005 p 24, colour.
Cairis, Analiese; Litson, Jo; Blunden Jennifer; Panuccio, Diana, '05 Archibald Prize', Sydney: AGNSW, 2005, plate 31, colour.

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Shen, Jiawei

This is not a photo
Other titles:

2006
Keywords: Greg Weight, Multiple portrait, Visual Arts Photographer, NSW, New South Wales, Sydney, Eastern Sydney, Potts Point, Macleay Street, Yellow House,

Notes:
This is not a photo is a portrait of Greg Weight, one of Australia’s leading photographers. Weight was an original member of the artist group known as the Yellow House, which used a house in Macleay Street, Sydney as an avant garde venue in 1970–71. Weight’s early photos record interior scenes from the famous venue. “Greg’s photographic career, the Yellow House’s history, and the wall painting in the Yellow House, which is a copy of Magritte’s masterpiece This is not a pipe … are all elements which inspired me in making this portrait,” says Jiawei Shen.
“On the right panel, there is a mock daguerreotype (the earliest form of photograph from the 1830s and 40s). A daguerreotype image should be shown as a mirror image but this suggests Greg taking a self-portrait using a mirror so the image becomes normal. We see Greg using a modern camera in the Magritte room of the 1970s Yellow House to get a 1840s daguerreotype photo. On the left panel, which is shown as the image through Greg’s camera lens, everything is upside down. Magritte’s sky painting on the ground is now on top so the upside down body looks more surreal. This work uses Magritte’s masterpiece, the famous pipe, to make an affectionate joke about modern art itself.”
“Since photography was born in 1830s, people have constantly talked about the death of realistic painting. You could take the point of view that modern art is a positive response to photography’s challenge. But we are still painting, even still painting realistic portraits, and focusing on the Archibald Prize. So this is not a photo. This is just a real painting.”
Born in Shanghai in 1948, Shen was a well-known artist in China, where he won the National Art Exhibition Prize five times. He immigrated to Australia in 1989. This is his 11th time as an Archibald finalist. In 1995 he won the Mary MacKillop Art Award and received a medal from Pope John Paul II. He was commissioned by the Australian government to paint an official portrait of Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. Other portrait commissions include Melbourne’s lord mayor John So, Tom Hughes QC and the lord mayor of Sydney Lucy Turnbull. Shen’s work is held in many collections including the National Portrait Gallery of Australia and the National Art Museum of China.

Medium: oil on canvas

Prize awarded: No

Archibald, Exhibited: 25 March - 28 May 2006 (26)
Illustrations:
'Read all about it!', Australian Artist, Volume XXII, Number 12, June 2006, p 31, colour.
Cairis, Analiese; Litson, Jo; Blunden Jennifer; Panuccio, Diana, '06 Archibald Prize', Sydney: AGNSW, 2006, plate 26, colour.
Lawson, Valerie, 'Archibald and Me', Sydney Morning Herald: Spectrum, 25-6 March 2006, p 7 (visible in background), (colour).

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Shen, Jiawei

Peking treaty 1901
Other titles:

2006
Keywords: China, Peking, Beijing,

Medium: oil on canvas

Prize awarded: Winner: Sulman Prize 2006

Sulman, Exhibited: 25 March - 28 May 2006 (89)
Illustrations:
'Once again the Archibald Prize lives up to its reputation', Australian Artist, Volume XXII, Number 11, May 2006, p 25, colour.

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Shen, Jiawei

1894
Other titles:

2007
Keywords:

Medium:

Prize awarded: No

Sulman, Exhibited: 3 March - 13 May 2007 (100)

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Shen, Jiawei

Self portrait as Quong Tart’s Contemporary (After John Thomson), 2010
Other titles:

2011
Keywords: Jiawei Shen, Self portrait, Visual Arts Painter, Homage to John Thomson, Quong Tart, St Mary McKillop, Princess Mary, John McDonald, Sidney Shen, Pets in the Archibald Prize, dogs,

Medium: Oil on canvas

Prize awarded:

Archibald, Exhibited: 16 April – 26 June 2011

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Shen, Jiawei

Homage to Esben Storm
Other titles:

2012
Keywords: Esben Storm, Performing Arts Film Maker,

Notes:
Esben Storm (1950–2011) was a Danish-born Australian filmmaker, well known for his work on the Australian children’s television program Round the twist. In 2005, Jiawei Shen received a phone call from Storm asking to make a documentary about his career. ‘As a Danish–Australian he was excited about my portrait of Princess Mary of Denmark, commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery that year, and he was even more interested in my life journey from one of Mao’s Red Guards to an acclaimed Chinese–Australian artist,’ says Shen.

When Shen agreed, Storm immediately visited his hometown of Jiaxing near Shanghai. In 2006, they visited Denmark together and in 2007 spent a month travelling around China. The result was a documentary entitled Goodbye revolution, which aired on SBS in 2008.

‘We had more plans. He was going to make a new documentary about my largest work, Tower of Babel, which I planned to finish in 2017. I was going to paint his portrait for the Archibald,’ says Shen. ‘One oil study of his head done in 2007 can be seen in Goodbye revolution. He died suddenly of a heart attack in March 2011 at age 60. I finished his portrait finally this year – but too late for him.’

‘Esben was such a wonderful man. In my painting I tried to capture his tricky smile, which often appeared when he found an interesting moment he wanted to shoot but didn’t want me to notice. In the background there are two Chinese characters. It is the name of an ancient building on a small island in the centre of South Lake in Jiaxing. Esben shot a party of me with my old friends in that building. They mean “the rain looks like smoke”, which is so poetic with a blue emotion. It was the emotion always with me when I painted this portrait.’

Born in Shanghai in 1948, and now based in Sydney, Shen is a largely self-taught artist. He was very well known in China in the 1970s where he won the National Art Exhibition Prize five times. This is his 13th time as an Archibald finalist. He was named runner-up in 1997. He won the Sulman Prize in 2006 and the Mary MacKillop Art Award in 1995. He is regularly commissioned to paint portraits including one of the Hon John Howard for Parliament House.

Medium: oil on canvas

Prize awarded: No

Archibald, Exhibited: 31 Mar – 3 Jun 2012 (34)

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