Du Shidong said his creative motif is all about human warmth people. Born in 1980, the 36-year-old artist excels at creating timeless scenes in acrylic.

In his paintings he focuses on familiar roles such as mothers, homeless men, children and office workers. His latest series on Artand is exclusively about mothers, and includes such pieces as Vague Maternity, The Direction of Warmth, The Stairs of Warmth and The Convey of Warmth.

“My career path has been one of difficulty, but nothing stopped me from making a living as a professional artist,” Du said. He sees the progress he has made over the years, becoming more adept at expression than he was in his previous works.

In Double Starry Nights, the scene reveals the story of a homeless man beneath the night sky. The artist chose an indirect way to convey the romantic ambiguity of starry nights by fading half of the man’s body into stars. The technique gives the scene an unexpected air of mystery.

Most of Du’s works are set in beige tones that resemble the sepia process of early photography. While Du says that nostalgic feel is unintentional, its presence is unmistakable. His series called Monologue records the days when he saw movies at open-air cinemas in childhood. In the paintings, plaster statues are projected on the outdoor screen.

“The Monologue series is infused with my personal experience. But it is not just my stories, but a common memory shared by everyone born in the 1980s,” Du said. Du excels are mixing a myriad of familiar elements to fill and enrich each tableau. Although each seems unrelated, they are carefully selected from a story in the artist’s heart.

“The elements in my works are basically things which appear in my mind when I think of the theme,” Du said. In developing each image, Du attempts to summarize past events. He skips the common step of selecting components for a piece since the images flow from actual memory.

“My works are the reflections of what I see and what I feel every day,” Du said. The name of each piece is a simplified miniature of the memory that inspired it.

“I think a work should have a ‘center’ first. I like to give a little hint to these behind-the-scenes stories to my audience, and then letting them fill in the rest,” Du said.

Du said he plans to explore more topics on human relations in his art as he dives deeper into his favorite subject: people.

“I hope warmth is what people feel when they see my works,” Du said of expectations about his paintings. “I’ve been learning how to transform my own stories into opuses. I would love to go further in my studies and interpret social connections in art.”

In August, Du finished a recent group exhibition with 21 artists titled “Picasso in China.”

Karena Hu

About Karena Hu

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Karena was born with the English name Karen but decided to add an “a.” She dreamed of a career in astronomy, but bad scores in physics kept her out of the science department. She seeks other worlds in reading and writing and is a super fan of the Hunger Games trilogy.

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  1. Great reporting, it’s not easy to write about visual art and get artists to speak about their work.

    Christopher Johnson / Reply

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