Hanwu Shen

Home / Salons / 15th ARC Salon

Hanwu Shen

United States

View ARC Gallery

Shen was born in 1950 in Wuhan, Hubei province. His family was poor, but he was very good in school and was admitted to the best mid-school in Wuhan. His ideal major was Tsinghua University's Civil Engineering and Architecture but because of the Cultural Revolution he was forced to go to rural areas and work as a farmer. He lost the opportunity to go to university and did not even have the chance to go to high school. His life was very poor and difficult in the countryside. He had a talent for drawing and started to draw portraits of the dead just for his next meal, many times from the corpses, before the bodies were buried. He gained respect among the local community, and was regarded as a distinguished guest. Through this hard life he found that he loved to draw. His artistic fame first began before he had even taken formal training. In 1972 he painted a work depicting a Chinese soldier taking his two children to see a sculpture that reflects the hard life of farmers before 1949, when they were oppressed by landowners. The painting titled "Do Not Forget the Past" had an enormous social effect. It was shown on the news and the Hubei Province published millions of copies of this oil painting that were issued and had great influence nationwide. In the 1980's, he became famous as a book illustrator, and from 1984-1986 was the editor for Changjiang Literature and Art, a literary periodical at Hubei Fine Art Publishing House. In 1986, Shen entered Wuhan Art Academy and became a professional artist. Throughout the 1990s his oil paintings were frequently exhibited in national fine art exhibitions and in 1995 Shen became a member of the Chinese National Artists Association. He later served as the Director of the Wuhan Artists Association where he had once studied.

* This statement has been provided directly by the artist in association to their 15th International ARC Salon entries. This content has not been edited for typos or grammatical errors and has not been vetted for accuracy.