The fascinating life story of artist Shen Jaiwei

Artist Shen Jaiwei has had a long association with ACU having painted numerous portraits over the years, four of which the University holds in its collection. He has won several art prizes and been chosen as a finalist for the Archibald Prize 14 times.

What is not so well known about Shen is his love of reading and of producing works depicting history – a practice that stems from his beginnings as an artist during the Cultural Revolution.

In China, Shen was well known for his art. Following the Tiananmen Square massacre in the late 1980s he was granted asylum in Australia and essentially started his life over, sketching tourist portraits at Sydney’s Darling Harbour. It wasn’t until he won the Mary MacKillop Art Award in 1995 that he became well known here, receiving numerous commissions for his work.

Read the full story of Shen’s incredible life in Painting the portrait of popes and princesses on Impact.

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