Growing up in mainland China, I was brought up strictly and conservatively. When I first saw the film Basic Instinct as a teenager, in an underground cinema in Shanghai, I was not so shocked by the sex and violence in the film.  Instead, I was shocked by the realization of how other people, including myself, are so numb to ideas of intimacy, sexuality, and love.  Since moving to the United States, my need for self-expression has grown, and my curiosity about how others address their identity in what is a fairly open society has increased. As a result, I started to photograph people in America.
     The goal of my work is to raise questions about human nature, emotions, feelings, desires, instinct and identity - to reveal things that you can feel, which are unexplainable but yet still solid. I am fascinated with the complexity of emotional nakedness and psychological connection/disconnection, as it is often expressed not specifically but explicitly. Most importantly, I want viewers to make their own discoveries through my work.

SHEN WEI was born and raised in Shanghai, and is currently based in New York City. He holds an MFA in Photography, Video and Related Media from the School of Visual Arts (New York), a BFA in Photography from Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and a BA in Decorative Arts and Design from Shanghai Light Industry College.  Shen's photographs have been exhibited at the Center of Contemporary Art (Seattle), Lincoln Center Avery Fisher Hall (New York), Minnesota Center for Photography and Dougherty Arts Center (Texas). Furthermore, his photographs have been featured in various publications such as Photo District News, American Photo, Photographer's Forum, JPG, World Journal and CMYK.  Shen is a recipient of The Griffin Award from The Griffin Museum of Photography, and The Manhattan Community Arts Fund Grant from New York City Department of Culture Affairs and Lower Manhattan Culture Council.

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"Almost Naked", by Shen Wei
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