Damien Shen: On the Fabric of the Ngarrindjeri Body

This is an exhibition of drawings, prints and photographs by Australian Aboriginal artist Damien Shen (Ngarrindjeri, Chinese). These works tell the story of the hallowed Aboriginal body and its desecration when colonial scientists stole Aboriginal remains to collect them for research. Drawing works from two different series of his work, Shen explores the dehumanization of the body after death by Western cultures and views his practice as an effort to “reintroduce some spirit back into the body” in honor of Ngarrindjeri beliefs and culture.
Damien Shen grew up outside of Adelaide and holds a Bachelor’s of Visual Communications in illustration from the University of South Australia and a graduate certificate in Management from the Australian Institute of Business. His work has been in over thirty exhibitions around Australia and he has won multiple accolades: the South Australian NAIDOC Artist of the Year Award (2014), the Prospect Portraiture Prize (2015) and the 64th Blake Prize for Emerging Artists (2016).

Image: Damien Shen, Self-Portrait #2, 2014. Image courtesy the artist.

  • 400 Worrell Drive
  • Charlottesville, VA 22911

Region: Pantops

The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia is the only museum in the United States dedicated to the exhibition and study of Australian Aboriginal Art. Working with living artists, international scholars and arts professionals, we provide a wide range of learning experiences to the University community and the public... more