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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.

Interview with Jiawei Shen transcript

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.