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PROFILES

PERSONAL HISTORY

Shen Shaomin

In the Grip of Power

by MICHAEL YOUNG

From painfully constrained bonsai trees to ghoulish figures of deceased communist leaders laid out on mortuary trolleys, the bleak, morbid work of Shen Shaomin critiques humankind’s attempts to control nature and society.

SHEN SHAOMIN, "Bonsai" series, 2007, plant, iron tools, 90 x 60 x 130 cm. 

Courtesy Eli Klein Fine Art, New York/Beijing.

Shen Shaomin’s cavernous concrete studio is bone-chillingly cold in winter. The surrounding landscape is sparse and the 19 adjacent studios that make up the Qiaozhi Art Commune, north of Beijing, do

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