Sydney Shen


Sydney Shen’s (b. 1989, Woodbridge, NJ) objects and installations probe primal realms to invoke scenes of abject horror.

Cover Image:

Sydney Shen, Opera is a Bad Influence, 2017. Installation view: “A Most Filial Imprint,” Aike Dellarco, Shanghai, 2017. Courtesy Aike Dellarco, Shanghai

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Shen’s work draws from a range of historical and contemporary sources, from medieval accounts of the Bubonic plague and traditional Chinese opera to videogames, ’90s slasher films, and the darkest recesses of the web. By anachronistically combining these disparate areas of obsessive research, Shen creates narratives that tangle the relationship between fiction and reality. The artist Frankensteins organic materials—including aromatics from traditional Chinese and Western medicine, wax, human and animal remains, hay, and insect larvae—to create visceral environments that revel in terror and awe.

This project is curated by Francesca Altamura, Curatorial Assistant.

Sydney Shen (b. 1989, Woodbridge, NJ) lives and works in New York. Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include “Poor Thing” with Kyung Me at Hotel Art Pavilion, Brooklyn (2018); “Four Thieves Vinegar” at Springsteen, Baltimore (2017); “What’s Worse Than The Void Is Matter” at Motel, Brooklyn (2017); and “Bone Apple Tea” at Holy Motors Project, Hong Kong (2016). In May 2019 she will present her first international solo exhibition at Sophie Tappeiner in Vienna. Group exhibitions include Deitch Projects, New York; Aike-Dellarco, Shanghai; Weekends, London; Fused Space, San Francisco; Et Al, San Francisco; and American Medium, Brooklyn. Shen is also the founder of Gesualda, a handmade fine jewelry and apparel company.

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This project is made possible with support provided by the Toby Devan Lewis Emerging Artists Exhibitions Fund.

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