Yi Chen's work begins with collages he makes from pop culture and fashion magazines collected from his native Beijing as well as from other eastern and western countries. The collage works meld together facial features of models and media figures to create characters that form a new hybridized vision of the human race. The dramatically cropped heads with bulbous eyes and askew features are rendered in reaction to the ever-changing standards of beauty in modern society and capture the reality of today's global melting pot. These collages of reconstituted faces act as models for Chen's paintings
Within each canvas Chen also uses a collage of painting styles that juxtapose conflicting perspectives of representation and abstraction. The end result is a landscape of paint in flux. The finely rendered eyes, lips and noses nod to realism and act in opposition to the expressionistic backgrounds comprised of flat fields of color in broad brushstrokes. This continual shift of compositional style between figure and background evokes a sense of uncertainty, lending a mood of both fear and fascination within these creatures.
Chen was born in Beijing, China at the end of the Cultural Revolution. He moved to Canada where he attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design where he received his BFA. He then went on to receive his MFA at SUNY Purchase College in 2003. Chen currently lives and works in New York.
|Exhibition History at Gallery 456|
|2003||Yi Chen and Yu Zhang: Re-Figuration|
|2003||Asian Contemporary Art Week|
|Works & History|
New York, Marianne Boesky Gallery, Yi Chen, March 17-April 2006
New York, Plum Blossoms Gallery, The Hybrid. Yi Chen and Ying-Yueh Chuang, April 15-May 15