Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

A Thousand Hands Clapping 

Wednesday, Sep 3 2008
Chinese-born artist Shen Shaomin is something of a contemporary shaman. Instead of regurgitating a bunch of art school sleights of hand or investing in gallery world pother, the self-taught Shaomin creates massive installations that act as portals into transcendent realms. His new exhibition, “Experimental Studio,” is akin to a taxonomist’s bestiary, full of unique and often-terrifying specimens. Shaomin uses bones, machinery, and other scavenged artifacts to create pieces that combine the archaic and futuristic. Thousand Hand Guanyin Bodhisattva is composed of human bones arranged in the form of a creature from Buddhist mythology. Oil Gaming Machine, a series of wooden toy models of oil pumps, restages current geopolitical disputes as childhood games, while Bonsai, in which painful-looking metal devices garrote a bonsai tree, draws parallels between excruciating practices such as Chinese footbinding and the violence we've waged on the natural world. The works deftly contrast instances of industrialization and technological development with the desire to live a life of spiritual purpose and harmony with nature.
Sept. 4-28, 2008

About The Author

Nirmala Nataraj


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"