Portrait of Shao Fan, Photography Wang Yu, Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Urs Meile

Shao Fan

Between Truth and Illusion

15 February to 18 Octber 2020 - Extended

Shao Fan (Beijing, 1964) holds a special place in contemporary Chinese painting. He is a master of the classical ink drawing techniques. In his work, Shao Fan combines painting, drawing and design with an extensive knowledge of Chinese culture. For over ten years, his work has been exhibited worldwide. His first solo exhibition in the Netherlands gives a unique overview of his work, featuring the monumental portraits of hares and rabbits.

Long live the hare and the rabbit

The protagonists of his monumental works are animals. Shao Fan particularly sees the rabbit and the hare as archetypes and hybrid creatures between man and animal. In doing so, he is in keeping with tradition: the rabbit and the hare are recurring subjects in traditional Chinese arts and crafts, although in China people do not distinguish these two animal species. In the Taoist tradition, the hare and the rabbit are associated with immortality and a long life.

Innovative and traditional

Shao Fan is also one of the first Chinese artists to explore the boundaries between visual art and design. Although the design of his Ming-style chairs is innovative, they are made using traditional methods. The chairs can be considered to be sculptures that recall functional furniture.

Today, we human beings always forget the animal side of us, either automatically or deliberately. But in fact the animal side of us is very precious.
Shao Fan

A Chinese Journey

Since 1988 Shao Fan's work has been part of the permanent collection of various museums worldwide, including the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Victoria, Albert Museum in London and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. In 2018, two works by Shao Fan were on display in Het Noordbrabants Museum during the successful exhibition A Chinese Journey: The Sigg Collection

The solo exhibition Shao Fan: Between Truth and Illusion is made possible thanks to the support of the Renschdael Art Foundation and Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne.

  • Foto Joep Jacobs
  • Portrait of Shao Fan, Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Urs Meile
  • Foto Joep Jacobs
  • Portrait of Shao Fan, Photography Wang Yu, Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Urs Meile
  • Foto Joep Jacobs
  • Shao Fan, Afternoon Nap, 2019, old elm wood, 142,5 x 83 x 95 cm. The artist and Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne
  • Shao Fan (Beijing), Portrait, 2013. Private Collection, Switzerland. Courtesy: Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne
  • Shao Fan, Shanshui Hare, 2017. Collection of Erlenmeyer Foundation, Switzerland
  • Foto Joep Jacobs


CatalogusA richly illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition and is published by WBOOKS. The catalogue is written in Dutch and English. It presents the work of an exciting name in the world of contemporary art. Shao Fan occupies a unique position in contemporary Chinese art. His work combines art and design with extensive knowledge and understanding of Chinese culture.

The catalogue is written by Hans November and
 can be bought at the MuseumShop, on the website of WBOOKS and in the bookshops for € 19,95. 

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