US gallery forges ties with Shanghai artist, top hotel
To celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year, Shi Jun, a 31-yearold Shanghai native and sculptor, is partnering with California-based fine art gallery Simard Bilodeau Contemporary to present some of his most prominent works in his hometown.
The exhibition is taking place from Jan 6 to March 15 in the lobby and underground basement of the Peninsula Shanghai Hotel, featuring a total of 13 gigantic artworks.
S h i ’s c o l l a b o r a t i o n w i t h t h e Simard Bilodeau Contemporary art gallery started in 2015 and has continued ever since. He has created a total of eight sculptures on commission from the gallery, which has its office at the Peninsula Shanghai and is the “matchmaker” of the partnership between Shi and the hotel.
French-Canadians Guy Simard and Eve-Marie Bilodeau are curating the exhibition and own the art gallery.
Among the works on display is the Queen’s Throne, commissioned by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 2012 as a gift to Queen Elizabeth II for the 60-year anniversary of her reign, also known as the Diamond Jubilee.
As Shi’s first collaboration with the hospitality industry, he created a bespoke wall piece for the Peninsula Shanghai in homage to the Year of the Rooster, the zodiac of 2017.
Using his signature materials of enamel and copper, the proud rooster is a sequel to the monkey Shi created last year in celebration of his father’s birthday and the zodiac to which he belongs.
“My major works are usually large 3-D sculptures. Creating flat pieces is as much a challenge for me as something I would like to keep trying,” Shi said to China Daily.
Born into a prominent Shanghai family with a background of glass and copper artisans, Shi graduated from the world-renowned Central Saint Martins in London in 2009.
Aside from his breakthrough piece created for the British queen, he has also worked with a c c l a i m e d C h i n e s e s c h o l a r Ma Weidu to design the well-known cloisonné floor called Reincarnation in the Shanghai Tower, the tallest building in China. He won the Guinness World Record for the largest cloisonné ground floor in the world as a result of his efforts.
In a recent speech, Jisoo Chon, r e s i d e n t m a n a g e r o f Pe n i n s u l a Shanghai said Shi was considered a pioneer for exploring various impressive avenues with his highly experimental approach and with a strong focus on using enamel and copper. It took the artist less than 10 years after graduating from Central Saint Martins to have his works widely recognized and extensively collected locally and abroad, according to Chon.
Chon also said that the collaboration is adorned with another great aspect of significance, because 12 years ago, during the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t h e Pe n i n s u l a Shanghai, Shi Sengbing, Shi Jun’s father, was commissioned to create the doors and windows for the hotel.
Shi Jun presents his artwork at the Peninsula Shanghai Hotel to celebrate the upcoming Spring Festival.