Shen Shaomin first came to acclaim in the 1900s with his Unknown Creatures and Experimental Fields series – sculptures of mythical creatures and bizarre biological scenarios made of bones. Since then, he has produced a diverse and large body of work, expressing both horror and fascination at the perversities of science, the brutality of humans against nature and the unsustainability of human civilisation.
Shen Shaomin migrated to Australia following the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. Like many of his Chinese-Australian peers, however, he relocated to China a few years ago to take advantage of cheaper materials and studio space, and the dynamism of China’s international art scene. Shen maintains a connection with Australia, and is increasingly represented in Australian exhibitions. I spoke to him during a recent visit for the 17th Biennale of Sydney – images and interview below.