“Open Wall Project” The Great Wall Reinterpreted by Shan Shan Sheng at Telegraph Hill Gallery

Event has passed (Tue Jun 3, 2014 - Fri Jun 27, 2014)
{TH(e) Gallery} Telegraph Hill
1:30 - 6:30 PM


Telegraph Hill Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of a solo exhibition of world-renowned artist Shan Shan Sheng with a reception on June 6, 2014 from 6PM to 8PM and will continue through June 27, 2014. The exhibition will feature Sheng’s Venetian (Murano) glass sculptures, paintings, and a scale model of the original glass installation project presented at the 2009 Venice Biennale and 2010 Shanghai Exposition.

The Shanghai born and San Francisco-based Sheng is internationally known for her public art glass sculptures and large-scale paintings. Having lived and worked in Asia, Europe, and the USA, Sheng is drawn to the East and West duality and the conflict between tradition and modernity. “I like creating a ritual atmosphere between history and the present moment. I like to draw upon nature and ideas more specific to civilization and engage in a dialogue with the world around me.”

Open Wall is Sheng’s large-scale and temporary installation work. The assemblage piece reinterprets China’s Great Wall as a sequence of stacked glass bricks. Open Wall is an uncanny, iridescent sculpture, indicating a threshold of both transparency and opacity, as a critical symbol of China's intersection with Western culture. “My work is inspired by a great Chinese monument and my fascination with architecture and glass as material. Open Wall suggests China’s possibility and its wish to retain its rich cultural heritage while being open to global economy and the international exchange of ideas.” The sculpture consists of 2,200 bricks that correspond to the 2,200 years of the Great Wall’s construction. It measures 60 feet long, 6 feet high, and 2 feet deep. Each brick is a unique piece of sculpture; predominantly clear but with speckling and swirls of warm tones of red, gold and yellow making it an exquisite luminous piece by itself.

Sheng’s passion for Chinese literature and history is further reflected in her hand blown sculptures of Chinese calligraphy and classical poems presented as totems. Horses and bells also figure in as favorite subject matters for Sheng. According to Sheng “No other animal has affected China’s history as greatly as the horse. Throughout its early history the survival of the country relied on its equestrian prowess. The horse played a prominent role in warfare, commerce, and leisure. The horse also played an important role in Chinese mythology. It was closely associated with the dragon and both thought capable of flight and of carrying their riders to the home of the immortals."

Sheng also renders the Great Wall brick in a series of 9 paintings. While Sheng replicates the original dimensions of the brick in her glasswork, her brick paintings are large-scale and collectively form a huge mural piece. “I offer my interpretation giving elements through the use of abstraction, color, and texture and I offer a view of the world that is reduced to the essence of things.”

Telegraph Hill Gallery
{TH(e) Gallery} at 491 Greenwich Street San Francisco CA 94133
Monday to Friday 1:30 PM to 6:30 PM Saturday by appointment

For more information please contact [email protected] or call 415.767.9794


  1. {TH(e) Gallery} Telegraph Hill

    491 Greenwich Street, San Francisco, CA