At the XIIth Florence Biennale, thanks to the patronage of the governmental authorities of the city of NingBo, China, Shan Shan Sheng presents a new project, Universal Elements.
Composed of five elemental colours, Sheng’s new media interactive sculptural installation creates a vivid, continuously changing atmosphere with cascades of colour evoking water, nature, growth, and the sky.
Universal Elements shows Sheng’s embrace of vitality and organic forms derived from her study of abstract painting and sculpture alongside harmony and rhythm inherent in Chinese calligraphy, culture, and dance.
Nevertheless, Universal Elements expands from Sheng’s freestanding glasswork, for instance the luminous Open Wall (Venice) and Open Door (USA). The artist has an innovative, groundbreaking, twenty year collaboration with glassmakers in Venice, in partnership the Berengo Foundation.
Universal Elements marks a turning point in Sheng’s artistic research as she is making another breakthrough – turning her paintings and glassworks into interactive new media sculptural installations.
Shan Shan Sheng’s art practice suggests fluidity and energy while also articulating monumental forms. Universal Elements hints at both material and immaterial states, thereby evoking a state of flux and transformation.
The artist affirmed ‘My main theme is evolution – constantly evolving, progressing, new ideas, new media, new form, new ways to express. In my visual art, I move between painting and glass, sculpture and installation, light and digital art’.
Shan Shan Sheng is an internationally renowned artist based in Shanghai (China) and San Francisco (USA).
Born in Shanghai , she pursued her artistic and academic interests by attending Mount Holyoke College and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she earned her Master of Fine Arts Degree. She continued to Harvard University as an artist in residence.
As one of the first contemporary Chinese artists who came to America to art school in those years, Sheng displayed her work in 1988, in two iconic group shows highlighting the new contemporary wave of Chinese artists not only aiming to explore new techniques and ideas, but also to revisit Chinese traditions freely. Her style is a unique bridge between ancient and contemporary worlds.
So far, she has held over forty solo exhibitions Europe, Asia and America, where she has mostly worked in the public art field. To date, Sheng has completed over fifty large-scale permanent public art projects at locations around the world.
Shan Shan Sheng has been honoured as a recipient of two Best Public Art Awards – from Americans for the Arts for her Ocean Wave at the port of Miami in 2007, and from the Minister of Culture for Taiwan (China) for her Bamboo Forest at high speed train station in Hsinchu, Taiwan, in 2009.
Sheng’s Open Wall large-scale sculpture was included in the 53rd Venice Biennale as part of an exhibition organised by the International Association of Art (IAA) and UNESCO Italian National Commission. In 2010 the Open Wall was exhibited at the Shanghai World Expo in the pavilion set up by the Shanghai Museum. In 2011 the Open Wall was exhibited in the Kampa Museum, Prague.