Shen Wei

Virtual Exhibition Tour and Events

We are thrilled to introduce a suite of free digital programs in association with our Shen Wei: Painting in Motion exhibition.

Watch the video exhibition tour below, and check back each week for newly released digital programs and live events! Details on the program and event schedule can be found below.

Exhibition Preview

Please join Peggy Fogelman, Norma Jean Calderwood Director, and Pieranna Cavalchini, Tom and Lisa Blumenthal Curator of Contemporary Art, on a virtual exploration of our exhibition, Shen Wei: Painting in Motion.

Watch video

Virtual Programming

Guided Meditation

Find a moment of calm with this guided meditation designed to accompany Shen Wei's monumental painting Untitled Number 8, recorded by India Clark, founder of the local Wayfinder Institute.

Guided Meditation

Lectures and Conversations

Shen Wei: Naturing Abstraction

February 18, 2021
Virtual live-streamed panel discussion

Shen Wei’s multi-disciplinary art practice spans more than four decades, and his paintings transport viewers to a place of fantasy, introspection, and meditation. Through bridging aspects of the East and West and blending traditional and contemporary artistic practice he has created a visual language that is uniquely his own. Join us for a conversation discussing the Gardner’s new exhibition Shen Wei: Painting in Motion where we explore Shen Wei’s visual art practice, his connection to traditional Chinese painting, and where his work fits within the landscape of contemporary Chinese art. Participants include:

  • Pieranna Cavalchini, Tom and Lisa Blumenthal Curator of Contemporary Art, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
  • Nancy Berliner, Wu Tung Senior Curator of Chinese Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • Karin Oen, Deputy Director, Curatorial Programmes, Nanyang Technological University Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore
  • Moderated by Diana Greenwald, Assistant Curator of the Collection, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Watch The Event

Dreamscapes // Chinese Folk Art Workshop

March 25, 2021
Video performance

Take a break from the every day and let yourself dream at the Gardner! This season, we invite you to breathe, explore meditative movement and mark-making, and come together with others who dream big in our community. The Chinese Folk Art Workshop presents a showcase of local youth preserving their cultural heritage through dance and dialogue. Explore this short film featuring traditional movement responding to the Shen Wei: Painting in Motion exhibition, interviews, and archival footage of Chinese Folk Art Workshop performances.

Watch the Event

The Larger Conversation: The Synergy of Dance in our Lives

April 22, 2021
Virtual live-streamed panel discussion

Just like language, the field of dance has evolved through innovation and lived experiences. Dance is about a feeling, a connection to something bigger, spiritual, or personal. Shen Wei’s approach focuses on a transference of energy throughout the body that involves thoughtful collaboration and intentionality. Hear from experts in the field discuss the individual and collective impact of dance. Participants include:

  • Pamela Tatge, Executive & Artistic Director of Jacob’s Pillow
  • Lilly Balch, Dancer, Shen Wei Dance Arts
  • Moderated by Jodee Nimerichter, Executive Director, American Dance Federation

Watch The Event

Pao Arts Center & Lenora Lee Dance present Meditations on the Power of Community

May 6, 2021
Video performance

In response to the Shen Wei: Painting in Motion exhibition, Pao Arts Center 2021 Artist in Residence Lenora Lee Dance presents Meditations on the Power of Community, a new short film by Weiying Olivia Huang illuminating stories of the Chinatown community against the backdrop of Shen Wei’s large-scale, immersive paintings. Interviews and contemporary dance choreographed by Lee in collaboration with Lenora Lee Dance and Boston-based dancers, provide a meditation on the experiences of Boston’s Chinatown community. Celebrate the resilience of activism and dreams turned reality through art, advocacy and the healing embrace of culture.

Watch Now

Live Q & A | Pao Arts Center & Lenora Lee Dance present Meditations on the Power of Community

May 11, 2021
Virtual live-streamed panel discussion

Join us for a live Q & A and watch party with community partners from the Pao Arts Center and Lenora Lee Dance celebrating the release of the commissioned short film Meditations on the Power of Community.

Watch The Event

The Larger Conversation: Delicate Blend

May 13, 2021
Virtual live-streamed panel discussion

Like Shen Wei’s paintings that explore both traditional Chinese and contemporary art practices, the lives of Asian-Americans blend Eastern and Western values, traditions, and cultural experiences. During this conversation, hear from Boston Asian Americans discuss how they each approach navigating life in the United States in 2021, while maintaining connection to their traditional cultural heritage, and the challenges or dissonance that they experience as a result. Participants include:

  • Ben Hires, CEO of Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center
  • Mel Taing, Photographer
  • Fiona Phie, Organizer for Asian Coalition Massachusetts, Former Executive Director of March for Our Lives: Boston, and Executive Board Member of R.E.D. House (Resist. Educate.Disrupt.)
  • Moderated by Catherine Morris, Director of Public Programs, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

Watch The Event

In the Studio with Rayna Lo

In connection with the special exhibition Shen Wei: Painting in Motion, join us the first Friday of each month as we get creative from the comfort of our homes and head In the Studio with calligrapher, illustrator, and educator Rayna Lo.

December 4, 2020
Rayna Lo - Winter Blossoms
Find inspiration in the hearty winter blossoms and evergreens that persevere in the winter landscape and add color to the seasonal Courtyard display here at the Gardner Museum.

January 1, 2021
Rayna Lo - Repair, Rebirth, Renewal
The start of a new year invites repair, rebirth, and renewal. Start 2021 off right by letting go of the past as you create a work of art with Rayna Lo that gives you hope for the year ahead.

February 5, 2021
Rayna Lo - Letters from the Heart
Write a note to someone special! Follow simple tips and tricks from calligrapher, illustrator, and educator Rayna Lo as you create custom stationary and envelope designs that transform an ordinary note into a special letter sent from the heart.

March 5, 2021
Rayna Lo - A Lotus Emerges
As we approach the first day of spring, we begin to emerge from the winter darkness and welcome much needed sunshine! To mark this seasonal transition, we look for inspiration in the lotus flower, a plant that emerges from dark, murky depths to reveal stunning blossoms later in the summer.

April 2, 2021
Rayna Lo - April Showers
From something as small as a raindrop to as big as a wave, water is a driving force in our world. April showers also bring new life and spring blossoms. This month, experiment with the unique qualities of Chinese watercolors as you create a botanical sketch of your own.

May 7, 2021
Rayna Lo - Support Systems

While showy flowers often get all of the attention, leaves and foliage play important supporting roles. Today we’ll give leaves their moment to shine and remind ourselves that we always need the support of others to thrive. Create a leafy-green composition of your own! 

June 4, 2021
Rayna Lo - Bringing it All Together 

Create a floral mosaic! For this seventh and final workshop, incorporate elements of the past six sessions with Rayna into a vibrant composition that celebrates flowers in all their beauty. 

Explore the Exhibition

Explore the Exhibition

Shen Wei: Painting in Motion

Hostetter Gallery | December 3, 2020 - June 20, 2021

Shen Wei: Red Marker Number 1

Anne H. Fitzpatrick Façade | November 24, 2020 - June 28, 2021

Shen Wei: The Moving Image

Calderwood Hall and Fenway Gallery | December 3, 2020 - June 28, 2021

Image at top by Julia Featheringill.

Shen Wei: Painting in Motion is supported by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation and members of the Friends of Fenway Court Patron Program. Support for Shen Wei's Residency and the Artist-in-Residence program has been provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Barbara Lee Program Fund. Community programs created in partnership with the Pao Arts Center and Chinese Folk Art Workshop are made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts and Barr Foundation ArtsAmplified initiative. The Museum receives operating support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Media sponsor: WBUR