Shen Xin

b. 1990, Chengdu, China


Shen Xin has selected a program for BNC2014 entitled Unorthodox Hosts, featuring works that privilege the act of problematizing as embodying potential.

2012-2014 MFA Media, Slade School of Fine Art, London, UK
2008-2012 BA Fine Art, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore

Artist’s Statement

Shen’s work presses on the urges of positioning oneself when engaged in different dimensions of heavily politicised issues. The artist attempts to adopt an “unorthodox” approach that is driven by scepticism towards the functional performance of politicalcorrectness. ForShen, it is an active way of participating in the discussion of the common, the autonomous way of living as human beings. This theme isapplied in her works to examine collective experience of trauma, such as the construction of anger among the Chinese nationals toward the Japanese war crimes during the Second World War, as well as her relationship with a Chinese immigrant worker in London that was exclusively beneficial to her. Most recently, Shen has been using the language of documentary filmmaking to apply the act of dis/reclaiming regarding the issue of Tibet. Shen’s practice also encompasses public proposal, virtual reality, emoji (ideograms), online databases, tourist attractions and performance, often collaborating with individuals or parties whose specificity contribute to the making of the work. The fidelity of Shen’s work lies in the paradoxical nature of defining the common, which could remain so in order to continue existing


Counting Blessings documents the artist’s father, Shen Daohong, and his quest in searching the authentic images of the Tibetans. Deeply influenced by Russian realist painters like Ilya Repin, the father sets the goal of his career to achieverealism through innovative Chinese ink practice,  depict the Tibetan being  as one of his main subject matters. In the film, Shen conducted interviews around the father’s photo archive and set out performative tasks for the father and his friends to complete, in order to further examine solely the aesthetic framework of his career. The film also reveals Shen’s reality in maintaining a paralleled practice in oil painting alike her father’s, in order to be financially self-sufficient and to obtain the privilege of western art education.


Snow Country is an attempt to look at the representation of trauma through cinematic space, more specifically, the trauma of women’s bodies being violated, both as individuals, and as the victims of Second World War. Comfort women are the term given to the women who were involved in the systematic structure of sexual slavery created by the Japanese military. The film was shot in Norway and Sweden, resonating with Yasunari Kawabata’s novel with the same title.

Recent Exhibitions

2014 Chinese Visual Festival, King’s College, London, UK
2014 Oslo International Video Art Festival Filmens Hus, Oslo, Norway
2014 Difference and Sociality, Woburn Research Centre, London, UK
2013 Local Futures: The Culture China Young Overseas Chinese Invitational Exhibition, He Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen, China
2013 Cinema as Object, Woburn Research Centre London, UK
2013 Voice of the New Who, Niu Hu Artist Village Shenzhen, China

Awards and Residencies

2013 Residency, Listhus Artist Residency Program Listhus Art Space, Olafsjordur, Iceland
2013 Autocenter Summer Academy, Autocenter, Berlin, Germany
2012 Award LASALLE Award for Academic Excellence, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore
2011 Award LASALLE Award for Academic Excellence, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore
2011 The LASALLE Scholarship, LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore
2011 The Winston Oh Travelogue Practice Award, Dr Winston Oh, Singapore

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