Shen Wei featured in From Margins to Mainstays
Shen Wei's Matt and Emily, 2003, is currently on display in From Margins to Mainstays, a group exhibition featuring highlights from the museum's photography collection that were made by artists whose careers and personal lives were sidelined, ignored, or impacted by their gender, race, sexuality, or nationality. From Margins to Mainstays illustrates how the canon of photography has changed since the medium first began being shown in museums in the 1940s, with particular emphasis on rectifying the small percentage of women and artists of color historically acquired by and displayed in public collections.
Wei’s featured work is from his portfolio Almost Naked, a series of intimate portraits that speak as much to the artist’s personal background as they do to the emotions of the subjects in the pictures. Born and raised in Mainland China, Shen Wei states that he was “brought up strictly and conservatively” and found almost no room for self-expression in his home country. His photographs react to this upbringing by exploring the ease with which Americans lay bare their emotions, as well as their bodies, for his camera.
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