Atelier · September 29, 2006

Friday in the atelier: “Purple Cloud” by Han-Wu Shen

This is a cropped detail of the painting, “Purple Cloud” by Han-Wu Shen. You can see the whole painting at the Quent Cordair website.

Living Master Han-Wu Shen paints incredibly realistic portraits and scenes in a romantic style. He is represented by Quent Cordair Fine Art in Burlingame, California.

I love almost everything that Shen paints. The paintings are so realistic that they border on photo-realism, but are painted in the romantic style so they do not seem ‘false’ as so many photo-realistic paintings seem to me.

In this painting the viewer’s attention is drawn to the young girl’s hand, her face and the details of her shirt. It seems to me that this is done with a sort of fading of unimportant details and the neutral background – perhaps this is similar to Vermeer and Paxton’s technique of directing focus by fading less important areas of the painting.

Shen is famous in China both as a children’s illustrator and a literary illustrator. His work won three Chinese national art awards at the Sixth National Fine Art Exhibition in 1984.

In 1986 Shen entered Wuhan Art Academy and studied to pass the national examinations for the Hubei Art Academy which he entered in 1987, where he majored in oil painting and graduated in 1989. During his period in school one of his works was selected for the National High Level Art Institute’s Works Collection.

In 1990 Shen started painting primarily in oil paints and his works became even more popular in Chinese art exhibits. Through 1995 his works were exhibited in many national level exhibitions and won awards in the Forth National Sports Art Exhibition and the Eight National Fine Art Exhibition. His work, “Colorful World” was selected for a Chinese exhibition in Japan.

Shen became a member of the Association of Artists of China in 1995 and held three one-man shows in 1995, 1998, and 2000 in Hong Kong. In 2000 his work “Paper Boat” was named as one of the most creative and significant works since the Chinese Reform and Opening Policy was implemented by the Central Art Academy.

Han-Wu Shen Immigrated to the United States in 2003. You can find his works online at the Quent Cordair Fine Art website.