FEATURED ARTIST CHEN Wenqin
CHEN Wenqin was born in 1979 in Fujian, China
1999 – Graduated from Arts & Design School of Fuzhou University, CHINA
2001 – Graduated from Academy of Arts & Design Tsinghua University
2004. – MA in the Winchester School of Art, Southampton University, UK
Wenqin Chen uses Chinese calligraphy, sculpture and installation to explore the relationship between life, art and their diversity.
Wenqin Chen was born in 1979 in Fujian, China, where he studied at the Art & Design School of Fuzhou University during 1995-1999. In Sep. 1999 he studied at the Academy of Art and Design, Tsinghua University in Beijing before going abroad for a MA degree at the Winchester School of Art, Southampton University in UK. Since 2007 he has been teaching in Xiamen University. His academic pursuit, he bases in the Chinese culture and pursue an understanding of the western world and its culture with a main focus in European modern art.
Since 2000’s, Wenqin Chen has used Chinese calligraphy, sculpture and installation to explore the relationship between life, art and their diversity. He created the work “Human Civilization, Spirit and Strength” (2004 MA final degree show). The beings of life, the analysis of our current living environment tensions and the wonder of the human experience have set Wenqin’s intellectual inquiry. He explains: “When we recognize this resource of life, we will then cherish it.”He also uses some readymade directly into his own artistic forms, through combination and installation showing its meaning. The representative art works of this period are: “Specimens” (2007), “Hot Bed” (2007) and “Up Side Down” (2007) which won the runner-up of the annual competition at British Saatchi Gallery in 2009, etc.
While contemplating the origin of life, Wenqin Chen became fascinated and inspired by the forms of the human baby and created a series of works inspired by it. As an example, the installation of work “Your Turn”(2008), he explained: “The great life is growing in the competition, ” and the “Life Posture”. During the following year (2009), he created the work of “Standing Egg” which realized his thought: “Can we then push the thinking of the origin of life forward? This thought advances our understanding of the life cycle and distills its meaning with the simplicity of an embryo.” For all of time, the egg and the embryo are the most enduring and significant beings existents and are at the basis of perpetuating life itself. As a source of inspiration and research Wenqin Chen studied extensively the human body, various scientific journals and statements, real life examples, and countless images. Examples are illustrated in the series of works “Before a baby comes out of its mother’s body” (2011-2015) and “Beautiful Evolution” (2013-present).
In analyzing the life body with its infinite possibilities, Wenqin Chen’s subject of enquiry emerged. Of equal importance, he is passionate about the dialog created between the positive and negative spaces that surround his work. As a way of expressing “the energy of space,” he emphasizes the momentum of the object to symbolize life’s release or “birth, ” while extending the implied energy field to its largest range. Let the space breathe and shuttle around the body of the work. The representative works are: “pregnant” (2001), “Endless Curve” (2009)(which won the Public Speaks at the Broomhill National Sculpture Prize 2011 in UK), “Waving” and “Moving” (2012), “Expanding” (2014), “Water Drop” (2014) and a series work of “Be in Here” (2015) etc.
Within his exploration of the life, the egg is reduced into its essence as atoms, molecules, or cells. When combined with things or objects, a physical or chemical reaction occurs which has been the basis for these sculptures: “Is it mine”? (2013-2015), “Kissing” (2015), and “Belonging” (2015). “When we look at these structures under a microscope, each object has its own constituent elements alive, jumping and wiggling.” Sculptures inspired by this phenomenon are within a series of work, “Bring Out” (2009), “Bring Out No.1” which has been short listed for the inaugural Spitalfields Sculpture Prize in London, and “Loving” (2010 – 2017), etc.
To further explore this microscopic physical event, Wenqin Chen is capturing it visually in two dimensional works. Painting brings rich emotion and vitality to the canvas. These representative works include: A series of “Stories Of Story” (2015-present), “Black Net” (2018-present) and “Red Yellow Blue in Net” (2019-present). These curves and lines of simplicity expressed with color diversity are not pre-designed. They are a visual representation through the process of comprehending and elaborating on the vastness of life.