1965 Born in Nanjing, China
1984 Graduated from Nanjing Xiaozhuang Teaching Education School, Fine Arts Department
1991 Graduated from Nanjing Art College, Printmaking Department
Conscripted into the Chinese Military. Joined the Military Drama Troupe.
The image that Shen Jingdong’s “hero” series created is an image of the soldiers with certain identity. This image is hardly to tell who the specific soldier is. His facial features are vague, and in fact he is a man incommon sense. In clothing and attitude which stand his identity his individuality is replaced by a common ideology. The soldiers are created into four kinds of people, which are the red, the yellow, the bald and the soldiers with hat. The yellow soldiers possess a hue of humanity, and the red soldiers stand for the solemn atmosphere of revolution. Their bodies are not only dressed in the uniform dress, but also have a fixed correct upright posture.
This kind of image comes from his experience in the army. Almost every soldier with certain personality will be uniformed in the end after joining the army. Shen Jingdong’s work taps into the vulnerability of the venerable by examining heroes of China’s Cultural Revolution – most notably, members of the military. Serving in the military drama troupe for 16 years provided the artist ample exposure to military life and fame to consider soldiers as sentiment beings, rather than mere emblems of Communist thought. The plastic, manufactured soldiers Shen Jingdong’s paintings are in contrast to the observed humanity from his experience but allows one to view these cultural icons as government play things gazing out with placid, unquestioning expressions. The mix of ideological and consumerist subject matter reflects Shen Jingdong’s works attempting to digest the nation’s transition into a consumer–‐driven society.
His pieces have already been collected by the Today Art Museum, the China National Museum of Fine Arts and the Art Retreat Museum in Singapore.
‘I think that acceptance of ideas contained in my works is a process of a commodity being accepted by consumers. It takes time. At first I meant to present myself as a hero, and then I broadened themes of my works. By my endeavor, my heroes are being accepted by the public. This means my ambition is being fulfilled. The image of an ordinary person like me will be passed down as a hero. A hundred years later, if my work still exists, people will ask who the person is.’ – Shen Jingdong