Hero Series

Hero Series

Shen Jingdong, Chinese, 1965
Born: Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
Work Locations: Beijing, China
United States
Oil paint on canvas
Accession Number
Credit Line
Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum
Shen Jingdong (Chinese). Hero Series. 2007. Oil paint on canvas. Gift from Vicki and Kent Logan to the Collection of the Denver Art Museum. 2015.619.
height: 47 1/4 in, 120.0150 cm; width: 70 7/8 in, 180.0225 cm; depth: 2 in, 5.0800 cm
BRC in black paint: Shen Jingdong, name in characters, No. 93, 2007
Modern and Contemporary Art
Modern and Contemporary Art

Shen Jingdong’s “Hero Series” features a man in military uniform, with generalized facial features, staring out at the viewer. Behind the figure is the branch of a cherry blossom tree and a snowy blue sky. The figure is painted in flat, bright reds, oranges, and greens with bright white highlights, giving him a smooth and glossy, toy-like appearance.

Shen Jingdong is interested in the concept of heroism within a society focused on utilitarianism and commercialism. He uses techniques that stray from traditional realism to illustrate servicemen with a fresh perspective. According to the artist, his creation of the series is an exploration of the people’s memories of heroes from the Red Era. He explains, “My real purpose is to create images typical of a time and make the images popular. By means of such images, I am not preaching anything to the public, but showing my understanding of heroes in our time…I feel that in a time when heroes are absent, my works may have significance.” (Artist statement, artist’s website)

Shen graduated from Nanjing Xiao Zhuang Normal School in 1984 and Nanjing Institute of Arts in 1991.

Known Provenance
Gifted 2015 by Vicki and Kent Logan to the Denver Art Museum.

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