Shen Chen Finding Grey

July 27, 2020

“Ink has five tones, which is to say, there are various shades of grey in these five tones. The use of grey actually stands for your interpretation of ink or the practice of ink painting.” 

Fu Qiumeng Fine Art presents a video about Shen Chen, entitled Grey Matters. In this film, you will see the studio of Shen Chen in New York City, hear the artist talk about the inspirations he draws from ink paintings, and learn about Shen’s idea of repetition. The film was produced in conjunction with Shen’s solo exhibition Grey Matters at Fu Qiumeng Fine Art.


Shen Chen in his studio

Shen Chen works with a unique abstract, monochromatic style. His study of painting draws from both Eastern and Western culture and art-making techniques. His fully abstract paintings, which reference the aesthetics of minimalism, are a study of brushstroke, color, and tonality. To create his subtle umber surfaces, Shen paints with a wide variety of traditional Chinese brushes. Shen has claimed that he values the working process more than the finished product. Shen’s working process includes a number of Chinese painting techniques, among them the method of application of brush marks and the selection of strokes, often canonical, as well as the brushes themselves, which are usually Chinese. He paints in layers, intuitively, each painting’s resolution determined by the uniqueness of that painting’s process. Shen Chen also envisions what he wants to paint in advance. It allows him to let the process take over, the qi, the energy, flowing from him to the brush to the support: “Every touch of the canvas becomes a point of inspiration.”