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Princess Mary

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

Interview with Jiawei Shen
Video: 2 minutes

The National Portrait Gallery would like to thank Jiawei Shen for his kind assistance with this project. All images courtesy of the artist.

Jiawei Shen: I was born in the Year of the Rat, but otherwise I’m just a lucky rat. Australia and the kangaroo in Chinese, we call the kangaroo is a big rat with a pocket. So I say that maybe my newness of life maybe is the kangaroo.

I already become Australian citizen in Canberra since 1998, but otherwise I had 40 years life experience in China, so we are half-half. I become like this. Very special meaning. Both equal.

From the window straight away we can see the Opera House. Princess Mary is Australian and married with a Danish prince, and they’ve come to Denmark. The Opera House is designed by a Danish architect, so this is just a two cultural with come here, with come there. But I think this is a very good symbol.

We have for three hours just to know this time I can only do some I shot many photographs. Then I did for about a half hour, do a sketch, head study. And the dress, the colour, and even the hairstyle, I really love that. Such a beautiful lady.