Art of the soul

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The Suzhou Museum, designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei, matches the scholarly temperament Shao Fan imbues his works with. [Photo by Satarupa Bhattacharjya /China Daily]

An exhibition of Shao Fan's artworks at Suzhou Museum is giving visitors a chance to view his philosophy, Lin Qi reports. 

French painter Georges Rouault (1871-1958) was once asked by a student if he would continue to paint just for himself in a scenario of being banished to a deserted island where his paintings did not find a second viewer. Rouault said, of course he would, because he painted to communicate with his soul.

Chinese artist Shao Fan shares this sentiment. Over the past three decades, the 54-year-old Beijing native has kept a low profile, focusing on painting and designing, while many of his peers have actively engaged with the market to gain public exposure even at the expense of creativity.

Shao's paintings are often about a single subject against a spacious background that transmits an otherworldliness or perhaps a solitary feeling.

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