“Hong-Biao Shen”

Hong-Biao Shen’s naked giant: an interview with the artist

Paris, 19 February 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA). On 31 January 2014, a giant sculpture – Mongolian by Hong-Biao Shen – appeared in Paris on the rue Soufflot – one of the city’s most prominent public squares, which lies between the Pantheon and the Sorbonne. Art Media Agency spoke to the artist behind the work which is currently raising Parisian eyebrows. Could you tell us a little about yourself? I was born in Shenyang, in China, in 1969, and studied sculpture at the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts. I joined Paris’s Sorbonne University following an internship at the city’s École des Beaux-Arts with Professor Abraham Pincas – a decision which was influenced by a meeting with Eliane Chiron, a professor at the Sorbonne. Following this, I decided to deepen my work, and took a masters course, before producing a thesis entitled “The Poetry of Shock  in Contemporary Chinese Sculpture”. Can you tell us about Mongolian? What does this statue represent for you? The statue is a gift to the Sorbonne, and once which expresses my feelings of gratitude towards the institution. The work represents a Mongolian wrestler, who stands at the edge of the Mongolian Steppe. I try to represent an interior force in my sculptures. The materials which I employ in my works are often very hard – like steel , iron, bronze and stone. The interior force of the sculpture is soft, like water. It extends up to the exterior, whilst the force of the exterior pushes inward: the two forces press against one another. This large piece is a response to the Mongolian Steppe. My art acts as a witness to my life. What technique did you use? I used clay to establish the form of the piece then, following this, I produced a plaster mould, which...

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Paris students launch petition to keep statue of naked man

Paris, 11 February 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA). A newly-installed statue on Paris’s rue Soufflot, next to the iconic Pantheon, has been capturing the attention of the public. The monumental sculpture by Chinese artist Hong-Biao Shen, which weighs around 1,000 tonnes and is 4 metres in height, depicts a large naked man. In the two weeks since its installation, it has become popular with the area’s residents and students. Its location next to the Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne University has led students to launch a petition to keep the statue there definitively. While the bronze man was only planned to be in situ for a period of a month, the petition cites the “happiness it brings to students on their way to classes” as a reason to make it a permanent feature in the...

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