Lives and Works: Hamburg
Shan Fan first became familiar with the techniques of traditional Chinese painting as a student in China, but when he moved to Hamburg, Germany, in the mid-1980s, his study of abstract Western art altered the way he viewed his own traditions. With its characteristics of honesty, flexibility, elegance, and bendability, bamboo symbolizes the sage and cultivated savant in Chinese tradition. Traditionally, bamboo is also always painted with black ink, because color was regarded an expression of superficiality and opulence and disdained as kitsch. It was not suitable for the mentality of a noble-minded human being. 2014, Shan Fan started to paint colorful bamboo – a recurring theme in his artistic ouevre for many years – expressing his contemporary interpretation of a noble-minded person who knows how to convey his or her values of a more colorful world.
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