Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Exhibition at Nemo HQ Gallery

Image © Shen Wei

I am very pleased to announce my upcoming two-person show with New York based Chinese-American photographer Jane Tam at Nemo HQ Gallery in Portland, OR. If you are in the area, please stop by.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Sad but Inspired.

The Villa is high above on the hill of the Bellagio village.

Night Ferry on Lake Como.

My residency in Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center was ended last week. It was difficult to leave such a beautiful place and was very sad to say good-bye to all the friends I have made during this month-long residency. The best part of this residency is to meet the scholars and artists from all over the world in all different fields such as writing, music, law, politics and non-for-profit organization. I have learned so much from other residences and was inspired to working on unplanned new projects. Last but not least, I have to thank the director of the center Pilar and the staffs of The Villa to make my stay so very special. This residency definitely is one of those experiences I will never forget.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

New Drawing.

Fresh © Shen Wei

A color drawing I made today. My favorite color of today is red.

Passing Varenna.

Across the Lake from Bellagio is another beautiful village called Varenna where the train station is. Every time I take the ferry, I see this little church in the middle of a huge mountain. I am thinking about getting up there next week.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mint Ice Cream.

© Shen Wei

It is my fresh new re-start to do some drawings and watercolors. I used to love drawing and painting while I was in China. In the past 10 days, I have experimented with some drawings and watercolors. I hope this is something I will continue to do in the future and to intertwine them with my photography work.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Como Rain.

It rains very hard today. The mountains faraway become almost invisible, a different kind of stunning. The village is extra peaceful with the sound of raindrop and the deep gasp of the ferry boats; even the conversation between the local children and the local dogs are disappearing. A perfect afternoon for some sentimental drawings.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Hello from Bellagio.

The morning of Lake Como. © Shen Wei

Lake Sunset. © Shen Wei

It is the third day of my residency at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Italy. Bellagio is in the heart of Lake Como, at the tip of the peninsular which divided the lake to the shape of a man. I sometimes get very distracted by the absolutely stunning view outside of my windows. Last night, I made a little drawing in my studio, it started very strong, then I kind of ruined it, and then I found a way saved it. This afternoon, as I was eating my lunch in a small rocky beach alone in the nearby village called Varenna, I really wished the time could just stop there.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Inside the Consorzio Di Bonifica

I regret not go to Savignano Italy to see the SI FEST (see details in last entry), but luckily so many of my friends have gone to see it and sent back great photos of the exhibition. The Global Photography 2009 exhibition was shown in this fantastic ancient architecture Consorzio Di Bonifica (Reclamation Consortium). I really love the characteristic interior of the building and the installation of the show. Below is some photos taken by one of the curators Massimo Sordi. Here is any article about the SI Fest by Christian Gattinoni, it is in French, but that's when Google Translate can step in.

Tomorrow I will also go to Italy for the Creative Artist Residency program at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center. I am very excited and can't wait to start working on my new project over there. Hope I will have some amazing journey to share at here in the next few month.

Photo: Massimo Sordi

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Alone in the Fog.

Soldier, Chongqing. 2009 © Shen Wei

Street Cleaner, Wuhan, Hubei Province. 2009. © Shen Wei

Girl, Xi'an, Shannxi Province. 2009 © Shen Wei

The Yellow Mountain, Anhui Province. 2008 © Shen Wei

When I travel in China, I was always in and out of the fog, the good fog and the bag fog. I waited for three days to finally see the otherworldly Yellow Mountain flirted by the thin clouds. The city of Chongqing also seems to be permanently marinated in a nurturing moist, while Taiyuan provided me the less pleasant dusty haze.

I love fog - especially when I discover others similar to me, who just like to enjoy a moment of inebriation, alone.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Aperture Foundation Green Cart Commission

Aperture Foundation has released the news of their yearlong commission project about the historic NYC Green Cart. I am very honored to have been selected as one of the five photographers commissioned for this amazing project. I am also looking forward to working with four very talented photographers, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Thomas Holton, Gabriele Stabile and Will Steacy. It is an interesting, challenging and inspiring project. I cannot wait to start working on it.

For more information on the project and NYC Green Cart, you can read the official press release and this New York Times article.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Portrait of Youth

Installtion view of Portrait of Youth @ J&Z Gallery

Some portraits from Almost Naked are included in a group show Portrait of Youth at J&Z Gallery in Shenzhen.

The exhibition is curated by Azure Wu from the ArtChina Magazine, other artists in the show are Meng Yangyang, Tseng Yu-Chin and Zhang Ding.

The exhibition will be on view through August 23, 2009.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Nude Orange Juice Drinker

Liao, Shanghai. 2009 © Shen Wei
Orange juice in China is not so much the "national juice" as in America. My generation grew up in China drinking water mix with sugar and a local Cola named Lucky. Even now there are too many choices of juices on the menu, orange seems to be the least popular. Watermelon juice is the orange juice in China, we stick with the national color! This guy who I have been asking for a photo session since January prefers an orange juice over a diet coke in a late afternoon in Shanghai. There is something so sensual about this movement of a glass of yellow liquid slipping into a naked body, both erotic and raw, almost transparent. The mattress was naked, too; something that I am always interested in.

Photograph nudes in China is a entirely different experience as in the US. People are extra cautious and nervous. It took me longer time to convince someone, especially a stranger to pose for me, full frontal is an extra work. In the Chinese Sentiment, I experiment the juxtaposition of these intimate bedroom portraits with the moody landscape and still life, intent to create a contrast between the public views and the private situation that perhaps only Chinese people can fully understand.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Beautiful and sweet.

Today I saw this subway ticket vendor machine in the Spring Street station on the E line. He stood there alone, seemed very patient and emotionless, his lips is plump and red. I have never looked at these machines ever. Why should I? I must unconsciously decided they are too ugly to deserve a look. I assume his friends who used to stand right by his side are retired or getting a face lift. Now that he is more visible on his own. He looks actually quite cute! With patches of color and everything, a little nerdy, a little tacky, but sweet.

My parents was visiting me in New York last month. They spent that whole time stuffing my refrigerator with all sorts of delish. My usually empty freezer now is fulfilled with homemade dumplings and stuffed tofuwraps. I especially love the handwriting on the aluminum foil by my mother, it is quite elegant and old-fashioned (writing from up to down is very ancient to me). The writing reads like a poem, even though they're just the instruction of how to cook what's inside. The dumplings are the work of art themselves, they make that orange package of whatever looks so guiltyly unattractive.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I have been reading some poems lately. Friend of mine gave me a Walt Whitman's classic Leaves of Grass. I read it when I first moved to the US, I was just getting used to English, so I could not really fully understand it, now I read it again, simply amazed of its depth and beauty (although still not fully understanded). I am now reading Jim Moore's Lightning at Dinner, which was given by Troy Williams on my exhibition opening night, it is contemporary and light, best to be read in a perfect sunny afternoon in the park.

Yesterday, I happily received 2 more poems from Marc Nieson who had written a couple of poems on photographs from Almost Naked. He had a reading in Pittsburgh recently and presented along with my photographs. Here is the most recent writings He did for Jody and Alex&Fumi.

Fumi and Alex, 2004.

Almost Naked

daily we sit across tables
clothed in ritual
it's what we grasp for
the teapot, the spout
the windowsill, the salt
pass the windows
pass the salt,
please me, please
pretty please
but don't you see
the glass is stained
the view obscured
cover your privates
pot your plants
carnations of the nation
dieffenbachia, fig
private eyes
private enterprise
private practice
practicing privacy
it's what we grasp
the edge of frame
the ledge of falling
but don't you see
the tablecloth's transparent
the flowering of light
the body always says more
the articulation of joints
it's what we grasp for
every day we shed ourselves
every day we can
the mosaic is still somewhere

Jody, 2003.

Everything You've Ever

Sometimes it's all moonlight and movie magazines. All hemlines and heartbeats. Chandeliers. The backseats of Buicks or Saturns. 1939, 1999. All windshields and waiting.

Or say Sinatra at the Paramount in 1944. The cue curling clear round a full city block. Bleach-white bobby socks and saddle shoes, glossies from the radio station clutched to your chest. A parade of inches, of hours, until finally that marquee blinks into view, his cutout towering three stories overhead. Bigger than life.

That torn ticket stub between your fingers, the stone stairwell spinning all the way up to the 2nd balcony. Up among the gold leaf and tinkling crystal, the painted angels, you swear, humming hymns. Almost heaven. Still, down down below stands that single microphone, dead-center stage and spotlit, the moment all chrome and breathless and him, him, him just offstage. In the wings, as they say.

And when finally he steps out, the din is overwhelming and all you can see are plaid skirts jumping up onto the seats before you until finally, finally . . . there

There he is, if only big as a finger. As his bowtie, really.

But it doesn't matter, he's live and floating up to the microphone now, glowing with everything that, that inhale of . . . that first, forever . . .

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Viewfinders Interview on Zoom In Online

Zoom In Online has released their new video series Viewfinders on Portrait Photographers, it is a series of video interviews of photographers talk about their work. I am very happy to be part of this project. You can also see more video interviews here. The videos are produced by Magnet Media.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Almost Naked Opening @ RSG

Tonight is the opening night of my Almost Naked solo exhibition at Randall Scott Gallery. The opening was very successful, special thanks to Randall and the gallery staffs for the hard work. I am happy to see many old and new friends. It was a wonderful opening. The show will run through May 2nd, come to see the work in person and experience the surprisingly vibrant DUMBO art scene.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Solo Exhibition @ Randall Scott Gallery

Flowers in the Backseat, 2007. © Shen Wei

I am pleased to announce my upcoming solo exhibition of Almost Naked at Randall Scott Gallery. Randall Scott Gallery is now moved from Washington D.C. to New York's Brooklyn DUMBO area. This is the inaugural exhibition in this new location.

Exhibition Info.:

Shen Wei
Almost Naked

April 2nd-May 2nd
opening reception for the artist
April 2nd 6pm-8pm

Randall Scott Gallery
111 Front Street #204
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(Located on the corner of Front and Washington Streets in-between the bridges)

11am-6pm Wed-Sat

Monday, March 02, 2009

Almost Naked Limited Edition Book Released!

All Images © Shen Wei

I am pleased to announce the release of my first Limited Edition book Almost Naked Shen Wei, a collectible portfolio-style book.

Only 218 editions are available.

Almost Naked is my first major project that has received numerous recognition and awards. This portfolio book contains 25 images from the series, along with an embossed title page, an artist's statement, a Certificate of Authenticity and an index page. Each book is signed, numbered and dated.

Please see more details about this book.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

We Are Here Just For You.

We Are Here Just For You, Chongqing. 2009 © Shen Wei

I walked pass this neon sign many times in Chongqing and am always so fascinated by it. The sign reads "We Are Here Just For You" in both Chinese and English. It is hugely located on the top of some residential buildings. It lights up at night beautifully, sometimes red, sometimes green, sometimes just white, with or without the frame. I don't know what this sign is for, perhaps an advertising for something, or a city slogan, I don't know... Whatever it's for, it reads good, a message that makes me feeling extra safe every time I walk by it. I love these images of the sign, now I just have to decide the red sign or the white sign.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Changing Landscape.

June 2008. © Shen Wei

January 2009. © Shen Wei

I grew up by the infamous Suzhou Creek of Shanghai. The creek was very stinky then, with hundreds of boats going through everyday. One summer I discovered this huge slump by the creek, it was an amazing maze. I liked to ride my bicycle in and get lost, when I want to come out, I just follow the smell of the creek. Gradually, I was addicted to that smell. One day I rode my bicycle there, the slump was flattened, completely. Then, the boats were slowly disappearing. Then the smell is gone.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Me doing whatever in China.

One of the benefits of traveling with my friend Baibai is that she constantly photographs me doing whatever, not that I am so narcissistic, I sometimes like to know how I look like in real life... you know, look at the mirror is quite not the same as look at a candid photo of yourself. So here are some photos of me doing whatever during our Chongqing-Wuhan trip.

Practicing Yoga in the hotel room.

Changing film while being observed.

Photographing what I can't remember in a tea house in Chongqing.

Me and Baibai eating (all the time) in Wuhan. Photo by 阿D.