Carole's Picks: Shan Shan Sheng

by Kelsey Zalimeni

This month’s feature in the Carole’s Picks series is Chinese artist Shan Shan Sheng. Coming to America in 1982, Sheng attended Mount Holyoke College and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she earned her Master of Fine Arts Degree, and continued to Harvard University as an artist-in-residence for two years. While she produces a range of works from Venetian glass to painting, Sheng is most well known for her public installations in major cities across the globe.

Sheng's sweeping installations are made of a colorful, specially cast glass; the arrangement of its parts evokes and imaginative take on the ethereal space above and within our reach. Witnessing a large-scale Sheng in person awakens a viewer to a higher awareness of their own body, in relation to the artwork itself and to the room which they both occupy.  Nature and its many wonders are a grand inspiration for the artist, as reflected in the organic composition of her works.

Shan Shan Sheng’s paintings are a near perfect embodiment of her sculptural works, giving off the same mystical, weightless feel through the language of color and movement.  Like her public pieces, Sheng’s paintings are grand in scale and of a similar palette to her cold-cast glass panes.