Animal magnetism focus of oil paintings

By Deng Zhangyu | China Daily | Updated: 2017-10-17 08:08

Animal magnetism focus of oil paintings

The sculptures of animals are among the works on show at artist Shen Shubin's solo exhibition Rebirth on the Road of Pilgrimage at the Beijing Minsheng Art Museum. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Countless animals, including some already extinct, emerge from painter Shen Shubin's canvas, in starkly humanized poses, hugging each other, holding parties or simply struggling to survive.

The Beijing-based oil painter's solo show at the Beijing Minsheng Art Museum offers up about 40 large-scale oil pantings Shen has produced in recent years, all of which focus on animals. It is a subject the painter says he has concentrated on for the past decade and plans to continue in the future.

Titled Rebirth on the Road of Pilgrimage, Shen's show features both large-scale paintings and sculptures. The longest work on display is an oil painting entitled Noah's Ark, which measures about 11 meters long. The three lifelike sculptures on show attempt to offer rebirth to extinct or endangered species: a Javan tiger, which used to live on the Indonesian island, a Florida black wolf (a subspecies of the red wolf which became extinct in 1908) and the white rhinoceros-a species where only a remaining few survive in captivity.

"All species in nature are equal and should be shown respect. It's not a right particular to human beings," says Shen, 39.

Shen adds that all his animal paintings bear human characteristics or can be viewed as a metaphor for human society.

"Shen tries to remind us that humans are not the dominant force in nature. He also explores how people live with themselves and their peers through the depiction of animals," says Wang Chunchen, curator of the show.

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