Shen Jingdong

by Ariston Anderson

One can't help but smile at artist Shen Jingdong's take on propaganda, as his happy, larger-than-life characters fill up his canvases with bright colors and round, easy shapes. But, the artist, born in China in 1965 and having served in the Nanjing Military for sixteen years, takes his inspiration from real life.

By painting soldiers as plastic toys with plastic emotions, he's hinting at the deeper humanity and skepticism toward the government that lies beneath the façade. But by depicting the soldiers as heroes, they take their place in both cartoon and post-pop art, in the realm of Takashi Murakami.

See a collection of paintings and fiberglass sculptures of his infamous volatile characters at Volta this week in New York or check out his work on his gallery, ChinaSquare's site solo show this past summer.

Shen Jingdong
5-8 March 2009
ChinaSquare at Volta NY
7 West 34th Street
New York, NY 10001 map