In the 1980's, Shao Fan studied at the Graduate Institute of the Central Academy of Arts and Design where he acquired a solid foundation for wood carving, ceramics, and other sculptural media. In 1995, he began producing his conceptual furniture series. The visual dynamism of Shao's artworks can be observed in Work No. 1. By deconstructing the antiquated Ming Dynasty chair's conventional function, the artist disorients his audience and prompts us to reevaluate each wooden rod that has been taken apart. The elegant lines, wood grains and textures that were previously masked by the 'chair' are now skillfully brought back to their original states of being through Shao's deconstruction and reconstruction. A similar artistic expression can also be observed in Wang Huaiqing's painting.
The sense of incompatibility in Shao's art is intended by the artist as a clever and humorous way to lure the audience in. His approach could be compared to the ready-made concept first observed in the early 20th century Western art of Duchamp and his ready-made sculpture of the stool and bicycle wheel. Shao's works also exude a strong Eastern aestheticism and Taoist philosophical essence. Art critic, Demetrio Paparoni, once wrote, "Shao created furniture-sculptures by assembling fragments of Ming furnishings he underlines the industrial identity of the work and the resulting loss of the spirituality that inspired the ancient masters However, on a philosophical level, the work expresses the inherent drama of the incompatibility of their parts. What are incompatible in Shao's art are not the materials as such, but the different spirit that the various materials and their handling reveal."
Please note the illustration is of a different edition