The Soften the Glow: Shao Wenhuan SMArt residency program Exhibition

29 June - 28 July 2019

Organizer: Three Shadows Photography Art Centre

Co-organizer: Foundation for Sustainable Development in Mountain Regions (FDDM), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) 

Artist: Shao Wenhuan

Exhibition Coordinator: Yan Qi


Opening: 29th June 2019, 16:45

Artist Talk: 29th June 2019, 14:30

Duration: 29th June 2019 - 28th July 2019 (Closed on Mondays)

Location: 155A Caochangdi, Chaoyang District, Beijing


Support: Embassy of Switzerland in China


Three Shadows is delighted to present “The Soften the Glow” an exhibition created by the artist Shao Wenhuan in the SMArt residency program in Switzerland.


To continue his explorations of the landscapes of the natural world, Shao Wenhuan was invited to participate in the SMArt program, initiated by Switzerland’s Foundation for Sustainable Development in Mountain Regions. He traveled to Monthey in the canton of Valais for a three-month residency. He engaged with the majestic Swiss mountain ranges and trained his lens on Swiss natural landmarks such as the Matterhorn and the Aletsch Glacier. He uses mixed media methods, primarily rooted in photography, to capture the deeper levels of this natural crisis, a motif with global significance.


Taking photographs is just one step in Shao Wenhuan’s creative process. By assembling numerous focal points into a complete image that seems to conform to perspective (reality), he hides hundreds of moments in one image, creating something like the spiritual depictions of grand landscapes in nineteenth-century Romantic painting. He intervenes in the images using multiple artistic methods in addition tocollage. Paint strokes, cuts, tears, abrasions, and stains all appear in the works, forming rich layers of natural and man made detail. He also leaves tranquil white spaces in the images and uses black ink to give the sculptural glaciersa deeper black. These “scars” that appear in the images or in nature seem to hint at the pain hiding within the landscape. In his ongoing series Galaxy Box, Shao constructed programmed lightboxes as rectangular spaces that frame images of the Alpine night sky indistant Switzerland. The twinkling lights from human presence pierce the silence of the mountains and rivers; landscapes constantly vanish and are reborn in the fragmented images that persist in our eyes. The points of light and specks of dust in the shadowy mountain forests or the vast starry sky are visual wonders outside of the “experience” that Shao Wenhuan has created, inspiring both anxiety and fascination. Set against the exhibition’s title, “The Soften, The Glow,” the scars of mechanical violence constitute a poetic satire, highlighting the direct and indirect damage to landscapes caused by changes to human life and the resulting acceleration in natural resource extraction.




About the artist


Shao Wenhuan, Artist, Associate professor, Department of photography of China Academy of Art. Shao studied as a graduate student at Department of Integrated Painting of China Academy of Art in 2002, during which he went to the National School of Fine Art in Dijon for advanced studies.


2018 “Whine Within Mirror”- solo exhibition, The RoofArt Museum, Hangzhou, China.

2018 “Perspectives in theDistance”- solo exhibition, ThreeShadows +3 Gallery, Beijing, China.

2018 “Screen Refreshing/Labor:AMNUA Photography Exhibition 2018”, Art Museum of Nanjing University of the Arts,Nanjing, China.

2018 “The Folded Mountain II:Scanning Shanshui”, Han Shan Art Museum,Suzhou, China.

2018 “Transcendence of ObjectiveImage”, Epoch Art Museum,Wenzhou, China.

2017 “Breakthrough”- solo exhibition, ShanghaiHanfeng Art space, Shanghai, China.

2017 “A Cooperation with Mr. Time”, Jimei x ArlesInternational Photo Festival, Xiamen, China.

2017 “The Unusual West Lake- TheFirst Art Scene of West Lake Photo Exhibition”, China Academy of Art Museum, Hangzhou, China.

2016 “Chinese Whispers- Worksfrom Sigg’s Collections”, Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern,Swiss.

2016 “Film: Recreation a RealUnreality”, 1933 Contemporary,Shanghai, China.

2016 “Insights”, the 3rd PHOTOFAIRS |Shanghai, Shanghai, China.

2016 “Annals of Floating Island”, Hanart TZ Gallery, HongKong, China.

2015 “CHINA8- ChineseContemporary Art Exhibition”, Museum Folkwang, Essen, German.

2015 “Silence”, M97 Gallery, Shanghai,China.

2015 “New Haziness”, Ming Yuan Art Museum,Shanghai, China.

2015 the 2nd PHOTOFAIRS |Shanghai, Shanghai, China.

2014 “Chinese ContemporaryPhotography: 2009-2014”, Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China.

2014 “Neo-Moroism”, Tokyo Gallery + BTAP,Beijing, China.

2014 “Ten Years of Contemporary Photographyin China”, the 10th Lianzhou FotoFestival, Lianzhou, China

2014 the 1st PHOTOFAIRS |Shanghai, Shanghai, China.

2013 “Pure View of Streams andMountains- Transformation of Chinese Contemporary Art”, Arts Santa Monica,Barcelona, Spain.

2013 “Aura & Post aura”, the 1st Beijing PhotoBiennial, Beijing, China.

2013 “Farewell to Experience”, the 9th Lianzhou FotoFestival, Lianzhou, China

2012 “Natural Mind”, the 1st BiennialItaly-China, Milan,Italy.

2011 “Shanshui: Poetry without Words? Landscape in Chinese Contemporary Art-Works from Sigg’s Collection”, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne, Swiss.


About SMArt


SMArt was launched in 2014 by the Foundation for the Sustainable Development of Mountain Regions(FDDM) inclose cooperation with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Culture Service of Canton Valais. It relies on an extensive network of institutional and cultural partners in Switzerland and around the world. As the Chinese partner of the SMArt project, Three Shadows Photography Art Centre recommends photographers to live and work in Monthey during an open call. Artists ultimately research and create around topics such as “climate change,” "water management" and "mountain development” in the context of challenges facing mountain regions around the globe.