This interview was conducted at Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong on 3 March 2008. 


Shen Yuan (b. 1959, Xianyou, Fujian Province) is an artist who lives and works in Paris.

Shen was in the first group of students admitted to Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts (now the China Academy of Art) after the Cultural Revolution. She studied Chinese painting, and on graduating in 1982, took part in many of the experimental art activities in Xiamen in the mid-1980s.

In 1989, her work Water Bed was shown in the ‘China/Avant-Garde Exhibition’ at the National Art Museum of China (Beijing, 1989). In 1990, Shen moved to Paris with her partner, Huang Yongping. Since then, she has participated in many international exhibitions, including ‘Cities on the Move’ (Vienna, Bordeaux, New York, Copenhagen, London, Bangkok and Helsinki, 1997–1999), the second Guangzhou Triennial (2005), the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007) and the ‘’85 New Wave’ (Beijing, 2007–2008).






In 2006, Asia Art Archive began a focused archiving project called 'Materials of the Future: Documenting Contemporary Chinese Art from 1980-1990'. This project aimed at developing a comprehensive collection of primary research materials including books, periodicals, newspapers, exhibition brochures, invitations, video recordings, correspondence, and other relevant documents. 

As part of this project, AAA digitised more than 80,000 items of material from personal archives to include artists Mao Xuhui, Wu Shanzhuan, Zhang Xiaogang, and Zhang Peili; curators and critics Fei Dawei, Lu Peng, and Zheng Shengtian; as well as the archives of Tokyo Art Gallery. As part of the research process over 75 in-depth interviews with key artists, curators, and critics were conducted. From a portion of these interviews, AAA created a documentary film about experimental art in South China (Guangzhou) in the 1980s entitled From Jean-Paul Sartre to Teresa Teng: Contemporary Cantonese Art in the 1980s.

AAA’s 1980s archiving project culminated with the launch of a comprehensive website portal called www.china1980s.org in September 2010.

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Interview with Shen Yuan (Transcript, Simplified Chinese), 訪問:沈遠(抄本, 簡體中文)