Counting Blessings (Digital Video, 37 mins, 2014)
Counting Blessings documents the artist’s father, Shen Daohong, who is also an artist, in his search for authentic images of Tibetan people and culture to use in his own practice. Deeply influenced by the Russian realist painters like Ilya Repin, the father sets the goal of his career to achieving realism through innovative Chinese ink practice, and depicting Tibetan is one of his main subject matters. In the film Shen conducted interviews around the photo archive the father keeps, and set out performative tasks for the father and his friends. The film also reveals Shen’s reality in maintaining a paralleled practice in order to be financially self-sufficient and to obtain the ‘privilege’ of western art education.