SHEN Jiawei | People in History, People Today


SHEN Jiawei | People in History, People Today

This exhibition is a pivotal show of Rochfort Gallery in 2024, presenting an exclusive retrospective of Shen Jiawei that includes nearly 500 portrayed individuals. The exhibition takes you to an immersive viewing experience with a fresh curatorial approach that brings history and today’s insights together. This exhibition is expected to create a significant impact and captivate the art community.

Shen Jiawei, a 14-time finalist of the Archibald Prize, has been recognised for his enormous contributions to art. This exhibition will feature a painting spanning over 30 meters, meticulously crafted over more than a decade by SHEN Jiawei. Alongside this monumental piece, the display will include numerous other works, among which 13 have been recognised as award-winning or finalist paintings, showcasing a broad perspective on his remarkable contributions to the art world.

SHEN Jiawei is obsessed with history books and has self-promoted as an artist specialising in representing history through his paintings. Nonetheless, after decades of drawing and painting, he looks back and realises that the history in his work consists of nothing more than people – a collage of historical figures. He is, after all, a portrait painter.

Jiawei migrated to Australia as a middle-aged man. Penniless, he survived on his professional training through sketching portraits on the street. Decades has passed and the content of his portfolio has developed from tourists to a prime minister, a governor general, a cardinal, a princess and two popes, and he has become a publicly acknowledged master portrait painter. Time flies, his subjects have been ingested into history: the prime minister elected and rejected, the princess now a queen. Jiawei finally understands that he is indeed an artist specialising in history.

And what’s more, he has painted himself into the history.  

Do you agree with Jiawei that you and he, and all of us are part of history? We are the onlookers of history; but we are also its hostages. In the grand cosmos, our global village is a small dot, and we are merely the dust. But back in our world, every lively face represents a unique cosmos. This is what gives significance and satisfaction to Jiawei, a portrait painter specialising in history, and to you.

English translated by Vivian Bi
SHEN Jiawei's Retrospective Exhibition

22 May - 29 Jun 2024
317 Pacific Hwy, North Sydney NSW 2060

Saturday 25th May 2024
1 - 3 pm

Date & Time

22 May 2024

Start - 10:00 am Saturday

29 June 2024

End - 6:00 pm Australia/Sydney

Rochfort Gallery

317 Pacific Highway,
North Sydney NSW 2060
0422 039 834
Get the direction

Rochfort Gallery

0422 039 834

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