Shen Fan

#Passing of Seasons


The richly hued monochromatic patterns and organic forms for which Shen Fan is known to draw on Western Minimalism, but maintain a distinctly Chinese character, not least because they are painted on rice paper. The repetition of abstract shapes overcomes any strains of individualism or desire for self-expression the artist might harbour, striving instead for the spiritual transcendence of the simplest of forms. Shen began abstracting his landscapes when he switched from ink-wash oil paint in the 1980s and has experimented with mixed-media installations.

Regarded as one of China's most important and pioneering figures, his works are included in the textbook 'Art', a compulsory reading for grade nine students in China. For Passing of the Seasons, Shen Fan pivots the timeline towards the modern era, when newspapers were the primary medium for disseminating information. The several hundred square meters of terrazzo patterns that make up his artwork are abstract interpretations of newspapers, all drawn from passages closely related to the history and collections of the Shanghai Library East. The dynamic brass decorations are the punctuation marks that contributed to the development of the modern Chinese language.

UAP Shanghai is proud to have helped deliver this work with Shen Fan from digital models, artwork samples, material explorations, construction methodologies and installation plans.

Taking something out and reserving something is my artistic creation. As far as the character of Shanghai Library East is concerned, I think the so-called artwork should be retired. What should be publicized is the internal collection of books, We just did something interesting and fun.

-Shen Fan

The ability to adapt Shen Fan’s iconic canvas practice into a contextually meaningful immersive installation in his home city is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and something we have felt honoured to have facilitated. Whether working in the artist’s studio to select canvas concepts, or deliberating over and pacing out material mock-ups to ensure a comfortable walking experience, the care and consideration shown by the Shanghainese master was demonstrated time and time again, and evident in the final installation.

-Dane Currey, Principal

Image Credit: Artwork image and video courtesy of RAWVISION studio, the artist, Shanghai Library and galleries

#Services provided


Public Art Masterplans and Strategies
Artist Procurement and Management
Marketing Solutions
Materiality & Construction Advice


Digital Sculpting & 3D Modelling
Design Development Support



#Project summary


Shen Fan

Artwork Title

Passing of Seasons


Shanghai Library East


Shanghai Library




Shanghai, China



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