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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Jiawei Shen, 2006

Greg Weight

inkjet print on paper (sheet: 73.5 cm x 60.0 cm, image: 59.5 cm x 48.0 cm)

Jiawei Shen was born in China, where he grew up during the Cultural Revolution and began to gain recognition as an artist in the mid-1970s. Largely self taught at first, when he was able to undertake formal art training in Beijing he was significantly influenced by his teacher Shangyi, China’s most famous portraitist. He came to specialise in history paintings, and saw his works hung in top public collections in Beijing before moving to Australia in 1989. Here he has continued to paint full-time. One of his works was hung in the National Gallery’s Federation exhibition in 2000, and his portrait of Art Gallery of New South Wales Director Edmund Capon was the People’s Choice in the Salon des Refusés of the 2003 Archibald Prize. Shen’s painting of Tom Hughes was acquired by the NPG in 2005 and he was commissioned to paint Crown Princess Mary of Denmark for the NPG the same year. His portrait of L Gordon Darling AC CMG was acquired for the collection in 2006 and hangs in the Gallery’s Gordon Darling Hall.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2009
© Gregory Weight/Copyright Agency, 2020

Accession number: 2009.37

Currently on display: Gallery Five (John Schaeffer Gallery)

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Artist and subject

Greg Weight (age 60 in 2006)

Jiawei Shen (age 58 in 2006)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Gordon Darling interview video: 2 minutes
Gordon Darling interview video: 2 minutes
Gordon Darling interview video: 2 minutes
Gordon Darling interview video: 2 minutes

Gordon Darling

by Jiawei Shen

Portrait story

Gordon Darling talks about how Jiawei Shen came to paint his portrait.

Interview with Jiawei Shen video: 2 minutes
Interview with Jiawei Shen video: 2 minutes
Interview with Jiawei Shen video: 2 minutes
Interview with Jiawei Shen video: 2 minutes

Princess Mary

Portrait story

Artist Jiawei Shen describes the symbolism in his portrait of HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.

L. Gordon Darling AC CMG, 2006 Jiawei Shen
L. Gordon Darling AC CMG, 2006 Jiawei Shen
L. Gordon Darling AC CMG, 2006 Jiawei Shen
L. Gordon Darling AC CMG, 2006 Jiawei Shen

Portrait of a patron

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2007

A new painting by Jiawei Shen captures the vision and resolve of the Gallery's founder, L. Gordon Darling AC CMG.

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© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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ABN: 54 74 277 1196

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.