About the artworkThis artwork is part of Shen Jing Dong’s 'Hero' series. The artist takes the soldiers as a recurring theme of his artwork. The soldiers are not only dressed in uniform but also have a fixed upright military posture and vague facial expression, lacking personal identity. This is inspired by the artist's own experience in the army where personal identity is masked by the uniform.
Shen Jingdong was born in 1965 in the town of Nanjing (province of Jiangsu), China. Shen graduated from the Nanjing Xiaozhuang Normal School in 1984 and from the Nanjing Arts Institute in 1991. After many years of studying Fine art, Shen was conscripted to the Military Drama Troupe of Nanjing Military Area where he remained for sixteen years until 2007. In 2008, his artistic career evolved quickly both in his native China and internationally. Shen become an important contemporary artist of the new wave, with his 'Hero' series where he used the iconography of childhood literary and cartoon figures as well as military tropes and colour-coding to symbolise 'types' of character. Shen's work is held in important institutional collections including Shanghai No. 1 Art Museum, Shanghai, China, National Gallery of Modern Art, Beijing, China, Art Retreat Museum, Singapore, Qiaofu Art Museum of China and the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, India as well as in private collections worldwide.