Shao Fan was born into a prominent family of Maoist oil painters and studied woodcarving and porcelain early on, solidifying his foundation as an artist. He began using furniture as his subject matter in the 1990s, working predominantly with Ming-dynasty chairs, the artist injected modern elements into their construction to reflect the cultural and philosophical changes he saw in contemporary Chinese society. Painting and drawing has been a part of his practice since 1989—the artist often rendered single subjects including a head of lettuce, a sleeping rabbit, and a man resembling Confucius in grey tones to juxtapose the overt cheeriness of the Soviet-style oil painting tradition. Fan has also been inspired by and created a series of furniture based on Chinese ideograms, blurring the distinction between furniture, art, and design. His conceptual output—at times seemingly surreal and impractical—affirms the coexistence of past and present while recombining characteristics of a stereotypical “Chinese” artist.