Shen Jianhua China

Cover Image - Shen Jianhua

Born in Shanghai, Shen Jianhua is an artist and teacher who was the subject of the 2018 documentary, “Up The Mountain.” Shen was a relatively unknown painter until he moved from the city to the Chinese countryside and set up a painting school in a beautiful village. There, he teaches artistic practice and ways to think about art to classes of local people (many of whom are elderly women.) The resulting work has drawn national attention and been exhibited across China. In a special interview with WePresent, Shen spoke about his personal philosophy and how it informs the way he teaches and creates.

“The most important thing to me in making art is the zen concept Wu: to have nothing in my mind. Emptiness, and isolation allow me a deeper view of what is in my mind.”