Jiawei Shen

[vc_row][vc_column][us_btn text=”中文” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fliveinart.com.au%2Fcollections%2Fall-fresh%2Fshen-jiawei-zh%2F|||” color=”light” align=”right” iconpos=”right”][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][us_gallery ids=”8623″ layout=”masonry” columns=”5″][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_column_text 0=””]Root No.1, 1997
Oil on Canvas 198 x 183 cm
$120,000[/vc_column_text][us_gallery ids=”8624″ layout=”masonry” columns=”5″][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_column_text 0=””]Root No.2, 1997
Oil on Canvas 198 x 183 cm
$120,000[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][us_gallery ids=”8139″ layout=”masonry” columns=”5″][vc_column_text]

Jiawei Shen


[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_column_text]Born in Shanghai, China, 1948

Lives and works in Sydney

Largely self-taught Jiawei Shen became a well known artist in China in mid 1970s during the Cultural Revolution era. His oil painting Standing Guard For Our Great Motherland (1974) became an icon in that years and later shown in New York twice: Guggenheim Museum in 1998, and Asia Society Museum in 2008. In 2009 it was auctioned away in Beijing Guardian at about one million US Dollars. Now it is in the collection of the Long Museum in Shanghai.

Jiawei Shen moved to Australia in 1989 and for the first three years had to support himself financially by drawing portrait sketches for tourists at Darling Harbour. He looked on this experience as an opportunity to research portraiture and since then he has completed many accomplished portrait commissions in Australia and overseas. As a leading portraitist he was commissioned by Australian government to paint official portraits for Pope Frances (2013), Princess Mary of Denmark (2005), Prime Minister John Howard (2009) and Australian Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove (2018).

Since 1993 Jiawei’s portrait paintings have been selected as finalist for the Archibald Prize at the Art Gallery NSW  fourteen times and in 1997 he was runner-up for this prize. He has been a finalist in the Doug Moran Portrait Prize (1994, 1996, 2006,2007and 2017) and has twice won third prize in the Sydney Royal Art Show (1993, 1994). In 1995 Jiawei won the Mary McKillop Art Award and received a medal from Pope John Paul II. He had also won the Sir John Sulman Prize in 2006, and the Gallipoli Art Prize in 2016.

His portraitist gift also had been used in large history paintings. In his Australian epic At the Turn of Century (1998) there were more then 100 historical individuals; In his Malaysian epic Merdeka (2008), 260; and in his Chinese epic Brothers and Sisters (2010-2017), more then 450.

Jiawei has six works in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery,  and the Parliament House, both in Canberra. In China, he has eighteen works in the collections of the National Museum, the National Art Museum, and the National Military Museum, all in Beijing. His portrait of the Pope Frances is in the Vatican art collection.

“Shen is a whole-hearted painter who has come through a tough artistic training in China. He has all the technical ability, the courage to take on ambitious compositions, and a hint of self-depreciating wit” (John McDonald, SMH).



1955-1966      School education in Jiaxing, Zhejiang, China
1968               Began career as a practising artist, China
1970-1976      Worked as a farmer and artist in the Heilongjiang Corps of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), China
1976-1981      Service in the PLA as set design artist in Shenyang, China
1981-1988      Professional artist in the Liaoning Art Studio of China
1982-1984      Postgraduate studies, Oil Painting Department, Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), Beijing, China
1982               Member of the National Artists Association of China
1989-present  Migrated to Australia and has since worked as a full-time artist in Sydney
2012-present  Board member, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Art Centre, Sydney



1984    Liaoning Art Gallery, Shenyang, China
1987    Liaoning Art Gallery, Shenyang, China
1995    Hui Yi Art Gallery, Sydney, Australia
1996    Quadrivium Gallery, Sydney, Australia
1997    Quadrivium Gallery, Sydney, Australia
2002    Zai-Jian Revolution, Gallery 4A, Sydney, Australia
2006    A Retrospective: Art Fellow 2006, Sydney Grammar School, Australia
2008    Merdeka, University of Sydney, Australia
2008    Wallscapes, Galeri Petronas, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2010    Shen Jiawei: From Mao to Now, 1961–2010, Hazelhurst Regional Art Gallery, Australia
2012    Brothers and Sisters, Part I, University of Sydney, Australia
2014    Brothers and Sisters, Parts I, II and III, University of Sydney, Australia



Numerous provincial art awards in China during the 1970s and 1980s. Major awards include the following:
1979 (China)       National Art Exhibition Prize: 2nd Prize
1983 (China)       National Illustration Exhibition Prize: Best Drawing
1983 (China)       National Illustration Prize: Best Cover Design
1984 (China)       National Art Exhibition Prize: Bronze Medal
1987 (China)       National Art Exhibition: Outstanding Work
1993 (Australia)  Sydney Royal Art Show: 3rd Prize, Portraiture
1994 (Australia)  Sydney Royal Art Show: 3rd Prize, Portraiture
1995 (Australia)  Sydney Royal Art Show: 2nd Prize, Still Life
1995 (Australia)  Mary MacKillop Art Award: 1st Prize
2003 (Australia)  Portrait Artist Australia Exhibition Award: 1st Prize
2006 (Australia)  Shirley Hannan Portrait Award: 2nd Prize, Bega Valley Regional Art Gallery
2006 (Australia)  Sir John Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
2003 (Australia)  People’s Choice Prize of the Salon des Refusés, S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney
2007 (Australia)  People’s Choice Prize of the Salon des Refusés, S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney



Numerous private commissions from Australia and overseas. Public commissions are noted below:
1988:    History Painting for the National Museum of China
2000:    History Painting for the National Military Museum of China
2003:    Portrait of Lord Mayor John So, for the City of Melbourne, Australia
2003:    Portrait of Tom Hughes QC, for the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, Australia
2003:    History Painting for Jiaxing City Museum, Zhejiang, China
2004:    Portrait of Lord Mayor Lucy Turnbull, for the City of Sydney, Australia
2005:    Portrait of Dr Richard Walsh, for the Australia and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists, Melbourne, Australia
2005:    Portrait of Dr Barry Baker, for the RPAH, Sydney, Australia
2005:    Portrait of Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, for the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, Australia
2006:    Portrait of Warden Don Markwell, for Trinity College, Melbourne, Australia
2006:    Portrait of Gordon Darling, for the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, Australia
2007:    Portrait of the Hon. David Hawker MP, Speaker of the House of Representatives, for Parliament House, Canberra, Australia
2007:    Portrait of Mrs Christine Briggs, the Principal, for Melbourne Grammar School, Melbourne, Australia
2008:    Portrait of Lawrie Willett AO, the Chancellor, for Charles Sturt University, Australia
2008:    Portrait of Mrs Elaine Collin, the Principal, for the Presbyterian Ladies College, Melbourne, Australia
2009:    Portrait of the Hon. John Howard, former Prime Minister of Australia, for the Australian Parliament House, Canberra
2010:    Portrait of Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Goulter, for Charles Sturt University, Australia
2011:    Portrait of Nick Greiner, former Premier of New South Wales, for the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, Australia
2012:    Portrait of Chancellor Professor Marie Bashir for the University of Sydney, Australia
2013:    Portrait of Pope Francis for Australian Government
2014:    Portrait of Sir Peter Cosgrove as Chancellor, for the Australian Catholic University, Australia
2014:    Portrait of Cardinal George Pell, for the Australian Catholic University, Australia
2015:    Portrait of John Story as Chancellor, for the University of Queensland, Australia
2015:    Portrait of Judith Neilson, for the White Rabbit Collection, Australia
2015:    Portrait of Greg Craven as Vice-Chancellor, for the Australian Catholic University, Australia



Numerous public and private collections in Australia, China, USA, New Zealand, Europe and Asia, and include the following:
AUSTRALIA: Australian Parliament House; National Portrait Gallery of Australia; University of Sydney;
University of Queensland Art Museum; University of Melbourne; Australian Catholic University;
Charles Sturt University; City of Sydney; City of Melbourne; Tweed River Regional Art Gallery; Ipoh Limited,
QVB, Sydney; Arthur Robinson & Hedderwicks, Exchange Building,
Melbourne; White Rabbit Collection, Sydney; Austcorp Group; NSW Bar Association; Ray Hughes Gallery, Sydney
CHINA: NAMOC; National Museum of China; National Military Museum of China; Liaoning
Provincial Art Gallery; Jiaxing City Museum
USA: Allen Memorial Art Museum of Oberlin College
HONG KONG: Art Beatus
THE VATICAN: Holy See Art Collection



Shen Jiawei’s Standing Guard for Our Great Motherland (1974): sold by Chinese Guardian in the 2009 Spring Auction, Beijing, for RMB 7,950,000 YUAN.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]