Shen Wei is very renowned artist born and bred in shanghai china. He then moved to the United States Minnesota to pursue a degree (Chan, 2016). During his time in the United States, Shen Wei got inspired to pursue and explore art. The artist went through a series of a journey in discovering who he was. Shen first started out as a creator of pictures of nude people.
The artist confirms that when he was starting out, he had no idea what to do with himself. Despite all the culture shock, he was experiencing in the country; he sought to start out by exploring art through other people. Considering his preservative upbringing back home in Shanghai, his pieces of nude portraits were a way for Shen to break free from his preservative background. His art was as strong as it depicted the image of Chinese men as being sensitive and also emotional. His act defied all the stereotypes that portrayed Chinese men as being unemotional and insensitive. Some of the prominent art pieces include the “I miss you already” that showed his most sensitive and private moments (Chan, 2016).
After a while, Shen discovered his passion in dance. He incorporated his nudity in dance by dancing and choreographing nude dances (Kaufman, 2013). Many referred to his art as a living art gallery that exuded not only skill but also bravery. One of the most prominent dances the “connect transfer” which he performed in 2008. The dance was all drenched in paint and moved while rolling in floor cloths. The energy from his dance is vibrant as it contains both objective observations from the audience as well as the public participation. Shen’s performance depicts a lot of emotions that move and sway the viewers.
Shen went ahead and started his own dance studio in lower Manhattan in New York. He specializes in training dancers in incorporating Asian traditions and the American style. His motivation and hard work helped him get through the hardships of settling in a new country and also to discover his talent and passion. Shen is one person who has gone through a lot from being an immigrant, having no money, not having the fluency to speak good English, and pursuing a very sensitive career that challenges his upbringing. He used his background to show the world his uniqueness and talent (Kaufman, 2005).
Shen went through rejection by his people in China who despised his work (Kaufman, 2005). His main contribution includes inspiring other artists like me who come from different cultures that are preservative to pursue our dreams and dance ambitions still. Shen opened the door for other male dancers who were held back by cultural stereotypes that defined their passion. He has contributed significantly by putting his efforts in training other young artists to dance and follow their dreams. Shen is an example of just how far someone can go and how many odds they have to go through to get to their passion. His talent made him a stranger and an outsider to his own home country, but still, he did not give up. Young children both in China and globally have received encouragement to follow their dreams and aspirations by Shen’s example (Kaufman, 2013).
There are many similarities between Shen and me. I also come from a very conservative community of Jakarta, Indonesia. There are so many odds one has to beat to become a great dancer. Prior to enter Modern I in Santa Clara University, I always picture dance as something that has to be perfect. From him, I learn that there are no limits to exploring ourselves when it comes to art. Three weeks of learning Modern I in addition of doing research of Shen Wei, I came to realize there is no right or wrong in expressing ourselves through arts in this case dancing. When I become doubtful of myself and my skills, I remember that even Shen made mistakes too. Rather than being afraid of of making errors, it is important to learn always to try and present the best version of ourselves.