Shen Jingdong (Chinese: 沈敬东; pinyin: Shĕn Jìngdōng, born 1965) is a contemporary Chinese artist noted for his paintings and sculpture of Chinese iconography. He lives in Beijing.
Shen Jingdong was born in 1965 in the town of Nanjing (province of Jiangsu), China. Shen graduated from the Nanjing Xiaozhuang Normal School in 1984 and from the Nanjing Arts Institute in 1991. After many years of studies in Fine art, Shen was conscripted to the Military Drama Troupe of Nanjing Military Area, where he made his career over a span of sixteen years until 2007.
In the 2000s, the emergence of Shen JingDong in a period of revival for Chinese Contemporary Art suggested a dawning of a new era. Previously, ideological criticism determined the direction of new contemporary art. Shen JingDong provides a definitive example of commercialised aesthetics in Chinese pop art. While serving as a soldier, he was praised by a Chinese leader for his theatrical background design, in 1998. He attempted various conceptual and performing arts in the 1990s, influenced by Dadaism and pop art.
In 2006, ‘Hero No.12‘ was collected in the National Art Museum of China, the Most Famous National Museum of Art in China, and his artistry began to be recognised. His art received numerous praise for its pursuit of “cuteness” along with its commercialized ideological features.
Starting in 2007, an exhibitions of his works have been hosted in Hong Kong and New York, and his performances were held in the United States, Italy, the Republic of Korea, Japan, and France.
In 2008, his Chinese and international artistic career evolved quickly; Shen become an important contemporary artist of the new wave, with his Hero series. He created into different kinds of people the image of the soldier and of the icons of Chinese life as represented in new forms, sometimes diverted in expressive colors (Blue, Green, Red or Yellow).
Through his work, he reveals his innermost thoughts, hidden in metaphors, humor and smiles. Amid the urbanisation and globalisation going on throughout China, Shen JingDong can be seen in his works as a witness to the changes globalisation brings. Amid the strengthening of ideology and oppression of freedom that coincides with globalisation, his work provides a new way out. Through the harmony of the realm of both imagination and reality, he builds his own fairy tales.
His painting The Bugle realized in 2012 illustrates perfectly his work, allowing each observer to have a new look on the contemporary art, but also a reflection and interpretation intellectual, sensitive and emotional.
The artworks of Shen can be seen in private and public collections worldwide. One of the most famous collectors of Shen's works is actress Zhang Ziyi.
The artist’s market success was displayed already on his home soil in 2013 when his painting Three Great Men, sold at Beijing Googut & Auction for £154,000 – Shen’s auction record price to date. Furthermore, at the international auction house Sotheby’s in 2018 his painting Strength sold for over £79,000 after generating competitive bidding from an eclectic range of clients.