US gallery forges ties with Shang­hai artist, top ho­tel

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - HOSPITALITY - By XU JUNQIAN xu­jun­qian@chi­nadaily.com .cn

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.

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