Shen Shaomin Exhibited at The Saatchi Gallery

Shen Shaomin
Unknown Creature - Three Headed Monster (and detail)


Bone, Meal, Glue

150 x 70 x 670 cm

Shen Shaomin adopts the role of being anthropologist, scientist, and author of his own fabricated mythologies. Constructed from real animal bones, his sculptures collectively create a bestiary of fictional creatures that are wondrous, frightening, and strange. Reminiscent of Borges’s Book of Imaginary Beings, Shen’s absurd assemblages exude an ancient wisdom, authenticating the magic of fable and folklore, while alluding to contemporary issues of genetic modification, consequence of environmental threat, and concepts of the alien and exotic.

Shen Shaomin
Unknown Creature - Mosquito (and details)


Bone, Meal, Glue

240 x 240 x 230 cm

In pieces such as Three Headed Monster and Mosquito, the skeletal remains of ’extinct’ creatures are presented with the validity of museum display. Their colossal scale reinforces their imagined prehistoric origin as Jurassic curiosities and spiritual totems. Assembled from genuine ossified animal parts, his creatures are simultaneously familiar and perplexing, indicating a warped and uncomfortable process of evolution. Often carving into his surfaces, Shen adorns his creations with scrimshaw, further entwining humanistic reference into his disturbing zoological evidence.

This approach to sculpture as science fiction provides a futuristic backdrop to Shen’s processes of making. His Experimental Studio No.2 - Sunflower, a bizarre triffid-like plant, is made from reconstituted meal, creating a hyper detailed skeleton quite literally from dust -- the type of monster expected from pixellised cgi special effects assembled with actual granular matter. This paradoxical slippage between the real and theatrical, futuristic and archaic is enhanced by the sculpture’s presentation in a large beaker-like vase, suggesting a veracious scientific specimen.

Shen Shaomin
Experimental Studio No.2 - Sunflower


Bone, bone meal, glue

130 x 15cm

Other artists in

Zhang Dali    Zeng Fanzhi    Wang Guangyi    Zheng Guogu    Zhang Haiying    Zhang Hongtu    Zhang Huan    Qiu Jie    Xiang Jing    Shi Jinsong    Fang Lijun    Yue Minjun    Li Qing    Wu Shanzhuan    Shen Shaomin    Li Songsong    Zhan Wang    Liu Wei    Zhang Xiaogang    Zhang Xiaotao    Cang Xin    Shi Xinning    Li Yan    Bai Yiluo    Zhang Yuan    Sun Yuan & Peng Yu    Yin Zhaohui    Feng Zhengjie

Shen Shaomin's Biography

Shen Shaomin
1956 Born in Heilongjiang Province, China
Lives and works in Sydney, Australia and Beijng, China


Scary Monsters, Osage Contemporary Art Space, Hong Kong, China

The Organisms of Factory, Urs Meile Gallery, Luzern, Switzerland

Transplantation, Asia-Australia Art Centre, Sydney, Australia

Dialogue, East West Gallery, Melbourne, Australia


Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool
From The frigid zone to The old industrial area, Northeast Contemporary art
exhibition of China 1985-2006, Guangdong Museum, Guangzhou, China
Polar Region to Tie Xi Qu, Guangdong Museum, Guangzhou, China
Endless Clone, Dashanzi Art District, Beijing, China
Ran, Theatres on the Bay, Singapore

The Second Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Art Museum, Guangzhou, China
Grounding Reality, Asian Art Center, Seoul, Korea
Two Asia two Europe, Shanghai Duolun MOMA, Shanghai, China
Ten thousand years, Post Contemporary City, Beijing, China
Art Affair – Kunshalle Faust, Hannover, Germany
Berliner Kunstsalon, Berlin, Germany
Unusual Scene, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
Bern Art Exposition, Bern, Switzerland
City Net, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea
Mahjong, Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Blind Date, Rheine, Germany
Break the Chain, Datong-Daqing round-trip show, China
Critical – Zero Factory, Dashanzi Art District, Beijing, China

Is it what?, Shanxi Provincial Art Museum, Xi’an, China
The 1st Architectural Biennial Beijing, Beijing, China
Asian Traffic, Asia-Australia Art Centre, Sydney, Australia

Open Sky, Shanghai Duolun MOMA, Shanghai, China
Left Wing, Left Bank Community, Beijing, China
Alternative Modernity, X-Ray Art Centre, Beijing, China
Düsseldorf Art Exhibition, Museum Kunst Palast, Ehrenhof, Düsseldorf,
Science Fictions, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore