Flowers Gallery is pleased to announce Self, a solo exhibition by Shen Wei in Hong Kong. The exhibition brings together selected works from several series from 2009 to the present day, incorporating photography and video work. Shen Wei’s diverse body of work explores notions of identity, memory and sexuality.
On view will be photographs from his latest series Broken Sleeve, which was inspired by a legendary story of an ancient Chinese emperor whose lover fell asleep on his sleeve. Rather than wake him, the emperor cut off his own sleeve. The series is more than a love story; it explores how power and submission, harmony and danger coexist in the same space; how myth, magic and romance become intertwined together in the real world.
The notion of desire and control is explored in Shen’s nude self-portraits from his earlier series I Miss You Already. Self-portrait (Bent) portrays the body stretched to create a taut arch within the contained space of a cave, while Self-portrait(Syracuse) examines the seductive but also submissive/dominant interaction of two figures.
Two works from Between Blossoms, a series of landscapes created across continents, from the United States to Europe and Asia will be exhibited. These photographs capture a unifying sense of other-worldliness within the changing landscape that Shen describes as “deeply connected to my inner melancholy, a dream-like state of mind.” Shen finds the unfamiliar and desire hidden in the nature and our unseen surroundings. The interplay of darkness and light, positive and negative elements also articulates oppositional emotional states of fear, attraction, joy, loneliness and absence. This can be seen in the near pitch-black void within Peach Tree from which a lush, flower-studded tree emerges.
Also on display will be examples of Shen’s video work, Bubble (2013) and Dusk of the Harmonious Garden (2016). Performing for the camera in Bubble, Shen explores the intense effects of bodily experience, drawing out a provocatively extended gesture of blowing a bubble until reaching a state of exhaustion. In contrast, Dusk of Harmonious Garden is a meditative journey of time and fantasy.