Justin Shi was born in 1986 from a prominent Shanghainese family of copper and glass artisans. In 2009, Shi graduated from the world-renowned Central Saint Martins University in London. Despite his youth, Shi has already explored several impressive avenues with his highly experimental artistic approach. His personal niche is his use of enamel and copper and in 2012 he was commissioned by the Parliament of United Kingdom to design the Queen’s Throne as a gift to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. From 2011 to 2014, Shi was commissioned to create the annual Formula 1 Pirelli Chinese Grand Prix trophy. In collaboration with acclaimed scholar Ma Weidu, Shi designed the famous cloisonné floor called “Reincarnation” in Shanghai Center, for which he won a Guinness Prize for the largest cloisonné ground floor in the world.
In 2015 Simard and Bilodeau saw Justin’s works for the first time. As they were impressed and inspired by his creations, they asked the young artist to embark on a new journey to create a series of nine sculptures. Shi, who had already begun conceptualizing and creating one sculpture, took upon this new challenge with great enthusiasm. Inspired by the ancient Chinese masterpiece The Mountain and The Sea, the artworks are inspired by his personal interpretation of the text. By combining his experiences in the West with solid artistic precepts of Chinese tradition, Shi has interpreted the ancient text through classical media with a defined contemporary consciousness.
This remarkable collection became the main focus for Shanghai Art Fair 2016, including an impressive monumental sculpture of 5 meters high called Three of Life. Beginning with his first art exhibition, Shi’s works are acclaimed by critics and media in China. In January 2017, Simard Bilodeau Contemporary along side The Peninsula Shanghai, prepared a solo exhibition presenting Shi’s artworks. A bespoke wall piece to celebrate the Year of the Rooster was also unveiled for the event.