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Print (MA)

Chenyu Shen

Chenyu Shen was born in Hangzhou, China. She has been always concerned about sustainable development and communication between cultures. She is interested in investigating the correspondence between societies' push towards recycling and how that affects artists and their view of their work and materials around them. Through experimenting with variable art media, from etching, screen printing, ceramic casting to filming, she is able to integrate different techniques in her works. Also as an oriental, she is able to evaluate things from both an Eastern and Western perspective. So in her digital drawing series, she attempts to represent those European classical sculptures in a traditional oriental style. 


2018 - Current: Master of Arts | Fine Art:Print | Royal College of Art, London, UK

2017-2018: Graduate Diploma | Fine Art | Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, UK

2012 - 2016: Bachelor of Arts | Transportation Design | Tsinghua University, Beijing, China


03/2020 Against the Grain | Southwark Park Galleries | London

03/2019 Hockney Exhibition | Hockney Gallery | London

01/2019 Work in Progress Show | Royal College of Art | London

01/2019 The Energy of Invisible Elements | Royal College of Art | London

07/2018: Degree Show | Chelsea College of Art and Design | London

05/2018: Offsite Show | Chelsea College of Art and Design | London


"The Sky of Little Poplar-Selected Works of ChenyuShen's Oil Paintings" (2017) Hong Kong: Chinese Literary Artists Publishing House 


+86 18800100106

Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

Print (MA)

The Rubbish Dump (Rebirth)

The Detail of the Pattern

The Rubbish Dump series is an ongoing project derived from the garbage, the main idea is to explore the value gap between discarded trash and art, and whether changing the material and increasing the craftsmanship can make waste a costly work of art. This type of art is largely ignored but it surely provides trash a second lifeline. Chenyu believes the delicate positioning of these trash items can create a new environment that is potent enough to spark new themes/ideas. She thinks this type of artwork literally narrows the gap between art and real-life objects. It is not a sort of utilising daily-use items, but a kind of creatively reusing them in a bid to seeing new purpose and life in these neglected objects. It also inspires her that there is nothing worthless or useless in this real world. She doesn’t see them as trash because trash is something which was useful before in its past life, and when people used it and didn’t deem it useful, they throw it to become trash. But what if someone can make it useful again so that it fills in its new position in the world of artworks? So, Chenyu’s perception is to see them as a great source of art thereby giving them an eternal afterlife.


Ceramic, cloth, steel frame, wood board


50cm x 50cm x 80cm

The Rubbish Dump ( Ceramic Series)-01

The Rubbish Dump ( Ceramic Series)-02

In this project, Chenyu transformed different packages to porcelain and printed her previous artwork on their surface. She regards these vegetables and meat trays as the symbol of today’s extremely convenient lifestyle, simultaneously they cause big pollution to our living environment. These plastic packages' indecomposability in the soil is as unforgettable as monumental sculptures in human history. So she attempts to use these forms to remind people that behind our convenient life, we should take responsibility for the sustainable development of natural resources.


Ceramic, ceramic transfer



The Rubbish Dump1

The Rubbish Dump (On Paper)

This work came from a photo Chenyu took in Chelsea College of Art and Design. Usually, after a course show, a certain space would become a huge rubbish dump. To some extent, one could call those rubbish a corpse of short-lived artworks as people could even think of what they looked like in the previous exhibition. So she wondered why so many artworks only appear once? There can be much more potential.

As art becomes more and more commercialized, works of art are brought into a new environment by curators and reused by other artists. The concepts of traditional physical properties, originality and ownership are also constantly evolving. So she transferred the original image into a print. The composition of those wood, metal, plastic and fabric in the photo became different layers of colors. The silver wave pattern coming from her line drawing practice makes the whole print more decorative and luxurious. The printing technique revived this image, to her, it was not an image of a rubbish dump, but totally a new artwork.


Ink on acetate


29.7cm x 42cm

In the Ambrosian Library of Milan-01

In the Gallery of the Academy of Florence-01

Pietà in Vatican

In Rome-01

Hercules in Vienna-01

Hercules in Vienna-02

In Vienna-03

In Schloss Belvedere-01

In Prague-01

In Prague-02

Hercules in Prague-01

In Prague-03

This project is about the line drawings of classical sculptures recorded by Chenyu when she traveled in six European countries during the summer of 2019. As an oriental, she was profoundly moved by these marvelous classical sculptures, especially from the aesthetic aspect. Western art expresses the heroic characters by portraying the muscular bodies and action postures. For example, Vienna and Prague have a large number of Hercules statues that have obvious muscles, facial expressions and movements. In contrast, the traditional oriental culture lacks the depiction of strong physical bodies. The portrayal of heroes in Eastern art focuses on the description of the spirit that is often expressed in words and flat portrayals. Therefore, these European classical sculptures represent the liberation of humanity and the pursuit of freedom, which are very different from the restrained and implicit Oriental culture. So she picked out her favorite sculptures, recorded them and represented them in her own way.

This series of digital drawings are initially A3 size. She used an application to simulate the setting as if they were displayed in physical content.




29.7cm x 42cm
22 July 2020
10:30 (GMT + 0)

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