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Shen Shaomin. This side up: FRAGILE curated by Giulia Abate

21 works of art of recent production in a gallery in phase of assembly

Installation view This Side Up: FRAGILE. Shen Shaomin, courtesy Mucciaccia Contemporary, ph. credit @Simon D'Exea


This side up: FRAGILE

curated by Giulia Abate

“Classical artworks are insurmountable and they constitute art history. I, as an artist, respect classical artworks but at the same time, I wonder whether they still do play a guiding role for contemporary art.”

Shen Shaomin 

Mucciaccia Contemporary is pleased to present This side up: FRAGILE, the solo exhibition dedicated to the artist Shen Shaomin (1956, Heilongjiang province, China).

The gallery will be exhibiting 21 works, recently produced, taken from the series Handle with Care, in which the artist reproduces the masterpieces of modern and contemporary art history covering them with a painted packaging of bubble wrap and scotch. The installation in the gallery will simulate an exhibition in the phase of assembly or dismantling, with artworks ready to be shipped to another destination, or on the contrary, that have just arrived.

The exhibition, curated by Giulia Abate, will be inaugurated Wednesday 17th October 2018 at 6.30pm. The show will be accompanied by a trilingual catalogue published by Carlo Cambi Editore which includes a previously unpublished interview of the curator to the artist.

The idea behind the origin of the Handle with Care series, comes from a visit Shen Shaomin to a museum warehouse. At the sight of carefully packaged art masterpieces, the artist perceived the sense of authority and their power of cultural representation. Hence, the feeling of venerability towards these works, considered like the "classic" masterpiece of Western art history. The trompe l’oeil technique that imitates the protective material of the bubble wrap, tends to isolate and protect those works of art playing a leading role in the collective imagination of modern and contemporary art.

Among the works on display, one notices a particular reference to the great artist and major exponent of American Pop Art, Andy Warhol, who used to create his works following an industrial process. “Andy Warhol – says Shaomin – is one of my favorite artists whose works are constant replication. I replicate his works in his way of replicating works. That’s a consumption of his consumerism.”

His artistic career ranges from the creation of sculptures of various kinds and sizes, such as works made of animal bones, which recall the relationship between man, desire and artificiality. There is a constant strong criticism on progress and the effects that it has on the world in all of his artistic production. Through his resin sculptures of sleeping humans and animals, the artist leads the viewer to reflect on the real and the imaginary, whilst in the series Handle with Care MoMA, Shaomin tends to subvert the classical rules of figurative perception.

Shaomin has had several solo exhibitions and has been included in many group exhibitions. Among his recent solo exhibitions: Keep Upright (2017), Klein Sun Gallery, New York, There is no problem, Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art, Guangzhou (China). Among his group shows: Capital@Art.International (2018), Ost-Stern, Frankfurt, Almost There(2017), Jorge B. Vargas Museum, UP Diliman, University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines.

Shen Shaomin has also taken part in many art fairs, among the most recent: Art Basel, Hong Kong: Encounters (2017), Busan Biennale, Busan, South Korea (2017 and 2015 editions) Xinjiang Biennale, Urumqi, Cina (2014).

In 2012 Shaomin opened his Beijing studio to young Australian artists with the aim of promoting a better relationship of cultural and artistic exchange between China and Australia. Shen Shaomin lives and works between Sydney and Beijin.

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