Dancer, choreographer, painter, and filmmaker Shen Wei moves fluidly between disciplines and cultures to create art that expresses a common spirit animating the world around us. His theory of dance seeks to align the energies inside and outside the body, approaching the body and its environment as fundamentally interconnected. As a painter, Shen Wei uses the monumental scale of the canvas to create immersive visual environments that evoke ancient Chinese landscape paintings while enlisting the drips and gestures of twentieth-century abstraction. The size of the paintings invites the viewer on a journey along the canvas, integrating movement into the experience of static works. His films synthesize choreography, time, place, and light to craft ethereal worlds. Shen Wei’s practice transcends the boundaries between visual and performing arts, seeking spiritual meaning that unites his work across disciplines.
Painting in Motion, a single exhibition in three parts, is the first exhibition in the U.S. to present the range of Shen Wei’s artistry. Shen Wei’s recent paintings, including two works he created as an Artist-in-Residence at the Gardner Museum, are on display in the Hostetter Gallery along with notebooks, sketches, and documentation of his choreography that provide insight into his evolution as an artist. Calderwood Hall and the Fenway Gallery of the Palace screen his films, featuring a new commission for the Gardner Museum, Passion Spirit. Shen Wei reimagines an image from Passion Spirit for his piece on the Museum’s Anne H. Fitzpatrick Façade, showing the continuity between time-based and still media in his work.
We hope these works of art, film, and movement ignite your senses and reconnect your soul. We invite you to find your own path as you explore Shen Wei’s meditative worlds and dreamscapes.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
25 Evans Way
Boston, MA 02115, USA