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Self-Portrait (Bubble), 2011

2011; printed 2012
Shen Wei (Chinese, born 1977) Printed by Silicon Gallery Fine Art Prints, Philadelphia Published by the Women's Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Shen Wei is a fine art photographer currently based in New York City. He was born in Shanghai and raised in what he terms a “conservative upbringing.” He has a BFA and an MFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design and from the School of Visual Arts in New York, respectively.

Wei photographs people with the intent to determine how they deal with their identity. “For my portraits, what really matters is to show the sensibility and vulnerability spiritually. . . . Appreciating the emotional nakedness is the aim of this project.” His are intense portraits. This work is one of a series of thirty-five self-portraits, often fully nude, entitled I Miss You Already. The distinctive backlighting and other pictorial elements reflect Wei’s interest in the work of seventeenth-century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer.

Wei’s work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, to name a few. A recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation award, among others, Wei exhibits nationally and internationally, and his photographs have been featured in several publications.

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