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Shen Jingdong (Chinese, b.1965)
LOT ID: 68141
Little Hero, 2011

Oil, on canvas
31.5 х 31.5 in. (80.01 x 80.01 cm.)
Signed, Signed lower right SHEN JING DONG in English, Jingdong in Chinese, dated 2011.
Lot description
"Little Hero" (2011) is a dynamic and exciting, new oil painting by renowned Chinese Contemporary artist Shen Jingdong that belongs to his internationally acclaimed "Hero Series" of toy-like figurative portraits of male and female Chinese Soldiers. "Little Hero" is painted in his most sought-after color combination-- bright green and red to paint the military uniform, cap with star-applique and the bright scarf of this smiling orange-faced soldier. One can't help but smile at Shen Jingdong's unique manner of critiquing the military propaganda of China, with his happy, shiny toy soldiers as his consistent theme, painted as single portraits or occasionally in groups, against monochromatic backgrounds. His canvases are filled with bright colors and fun, harmless figures, which is ironic as these are armed soldiers with the ability to kill. This work is offered here for the first time at auction and is unframed and in perfect condition.

The artist served in the Nanjing Military for sixteen years, and this takes his inspiration for his "Hero Series" of paintings from real life experience. By painting Chinese soldiers as plastic toys without the potential to possess any emotions, Shen is able to critique the Government's avoidance of recognizing the humanity of various individuals who joined the PRC during his generation and his overall skepticism toward the government. Shen's soldiers may be toys but they are not cowards, all depicted as proud, happy heroes. His visual vocabulary of these cast of characters firmly take their place in the "Neo-Pop and "Super-Flat" realm along side artists such as Japanese artist Takashi Murakami.

The artist was born in Jiangsu Nanjing, China in 1965. He graduated from Nanjing Xiaozhuang Normal School in 1984 and received his advanced degree in painting from Nanjing Institute of Arts in 1991. From 1991—2007 he was conscripted to the Military Drama Troupe of Nanjing Military Area, China. His "Hero Series" of oil paintings are his most critically acclaimed works and are held in select Public Collections, including paintings titled: "Hero series 12", at China National Museum of Fine Arts; "Founding Ceremony", Shanghai No.1 Art Gallery and "Hero series 42" by the Singapore Art Retreat Museum. The artist lives and works in China.
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