Yan Shilin, born in 1982, Changsha, Hunan Province.
Graduated from Hubei Academy of Fine Art in 2007.
Awards: National graduate work exhibition, Outstanding prize, Beijing Outstanding graduate work exhibition of Hubei Academy of Fine Arts, Champion prize, Hubei
‘Do you remember your childhood dreams? Maybe you lost that dream or misplaced it years ago,’ says Yan Shilin. ‘When we look back at our lives, we realize that we have lost so much happiness. Sometimes happiness slips away without us noticing.’
The contrast of the subjects’ sorrowful eyes and clean colors conveys Yan’s ideas to the outside world. Right after having graduated from the Hubei Institute of Fine Arts, Yan Shilin, who was a very talented student in the eyes of his teacher went to a remote village in the nearby of Beijing and started living in solitude, and this complete unfamiliar environment gave him more opportunities to face his soul, to seriously reflect upon being an independent individual in the society, upon being part of the world of Chinese contemporary art, and upon what he had to express through his art. Yan Shilin traces his style to the same tradition of rigorous training as academic Realist sculpture; however, he sculpts children whose intense and exaggerated expressions reflect an honest and innate expression of the self.
The sculptures represent current tastes, so Yan has solemnly become the spokesperson for the new generation of Realist sculptors. Yan Shilin refuses to use the techniques of industrial sculpture and paints his sculptures by hand. Colors are not uniform and they gradually change, and make thin about the process of erosion to which a child’s heart is subjected by the external environment. The characters in Yan Shilin’s work are all on a stage, this stage became a theater for the artist himself, on this the stage the acts of a play about unripe youth its complicated feelings.