Shen Fan started disassembling concrete forms and space in painting in the 70s and 80s, and began creating abstract painting works. Since 1998, he has been bringing Chinese painting elements into multi mediums and materials such as ceramics, neon light, metal, and music, expanding the boundaries between painting and new media. He is one of the earlier Chinese artists who combine classical aesthetics into the contemporary context to explore contemporary Chinese cultural expressions.
Shen Fan’s works are composed of different series with distinct features, and changing materials. But they maintain the temperament of the classical Chinese literati arts. His installation works of 2006 go back to Huang Binhong period and re-analyse the use of space and brush strokes of classical Chinese landscape paintings. He recreates, in relation to the new mediums, the most natural and self-examining features of the literati arts, and demonstrates the penetrating power of their universality for our contemporary times. Shen Fan’s recent works return to his intuition, and use the body as a philosophical method of viewing. Through interactions among vision, touch, text and so on, Shen Fan provides an integrated way of viewing, which embodies his shifted and more wholesome viewing logic.
Shen Fan’s works have been international exhibited, including The 7th Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou (2023); Shen Fan, Powerlong Museum, Shanghai(2020); Openging Exhibition, TAFF Contemporary Art Museum, Chendu(2019); Shen Fan: Punctuation - The Second Time, The Barn Contemporary Art Space, Shenzhen(2017); Punctuation-The First Time, ShanghART(M50), Shanghai (2015); Myth/History II: Shanghai Galaxy,YUZ Museum,Shanghai (2015), Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, U.S.A.(2010); Out of Shanghai, Museum gegenstandsfreier Kunst, Otterndorf, Germany (2009); Shanghai Kaleidoscope, Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Toronto, Canada(2008); 6th Shanghai Biennale - Hyper Design, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai (2006); Alien Illusion, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai (2005); The Paintings of Shen Fan – Pioneering Abstraction from Shanghai, Goedhuis Contemporary New York, U.S.A.(2002); Metaphysics 2001, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai(2001).