In 1731 the Chinese painter Shen Nanpin (also known as Shen Quan, 1682–1760?) arrived in Japan and less than two years later returned to continental China. Despite his short sojourn, Nanpin later became a figurehead of the early-modern Japanese painting canon. Currently, upwards of five-hundred paintings attributed to Nanpin are spread across Japanese, Chinese, and Euro-American collections. Nanpin’s later popularity and the resultant scale and diversity of his visual archive, however, stem not from the historical figure’s virtuosity and technical prowess but rather from a reception history that traded on his name across an ocean. Workshop painting production in continental China, painting and collecting practices in Edo-period Japan, and continued exchange between the two regions all intersected to produce the unwieldy body of work attributed to this one individual. That is, Shen Nanpin exists as a renowned figure precisely due to systems of valuation and copying that obscure any “genuine” trace of the painter himself. By treating Nanpin as a phenomenon as opposed to our current expectation of a singular and identifiable “artist’s hand,” I will explore the various contexts and processes that produced the vast group of imagery ascribed to Shen Nanpin. The “Nanpin phenomenon” offers a rich yet complex site to rethink Chinese painting production, Japanese use and demand for Chinese paintings, and larger dynamics of exchange across early-modern East Asia.