CHEN Chien-Jung was born in Taipei, Taiwan in 1972. He graduated from the Fine Arts Department, National Institute of the Arts （known as Taipei National University of the Arts today） in 1995, and acquired a master’s degree from the Graduate Institute of Plastic Arts, Tainan National University of the Arts in 2001. Chen bagged the Gold Medal Award from the 11th International Biennial Print and Drawing Exhibition, R.O.C. in 2003. He is also the winner of the 10th Li Chung-Shen Foundation Visual Art Awards in 2007. Chen’s paintings are unique, for they suggest a kind of “specious ambiguity.” While the structure of his works is often enhanced through architectural elements and drawing lines, painting qualities such as patches and drips of color paint are also applied to suggest abstract beauty, or to dissolve and deconstruct the previously constructed structure.
Chen initiated White Buildings and Sky Blue in 2001. These two series feature elements taken from architectural drawings based on different views, such as perspective and section. Landscape, one which the artist started developing in 2007 till today, further brings together the city-scape and the architectural space by venturing into the greater surroundings. In Chen’s artworks, both white buildings and architectural plans represent a draft contour that awaits completion. The artist challenges form and structure through visuality and color, and develops a sense of abstraction during the course.
The thematic Landscape series is also characterized by architectural colors, lines and structures. Yet Landscape attempts to explore more of the urban spaces and views, and gives landscape a central role, rather than buildings. It can be said the pure physical and mechanical portrayals of such manmade constructions are downplayed for a new focus on the artist’s inner feelings. Wild drawing lines, drips of color paint, layers of color patches, and even flawed elements suggest a spontaneous painting grammar and an exploration of one’s mind. It feels as if the artist were observing, giving back to, interfering with, and altering this landscape. Chen’s landscapes are both objects and subjects. With this series, the artist has hoped to depict both a physical and psychological space. The spontaneous marks of paint on canvas perfectly reflect the transformation of one’s emotions.
Although the artist has never really explicitly explained the relation between his paintings and the city-scape, judging from the titles of his several painting series, such as Transmission, White Buildings, and Landscape, as well as the suggestive elements like wheel shafts, steel racks, engines, houses, architect’s drafts, and floor plans in the paintings, the artist has tried to respond to the rational structure of an industrial city and the city’s spatial texture inspired by speed. Such elements have remained his sources of inspirations.
But the artist is not certain whether mechanism and digitality, with their rational nature and stringent structure, could really help to solve all of our problems in life, or bring us a vision worth expectations. The ever-changing city-scape in the artist’s work reflects the lives of people in an alienating society of the industrial age. As the artist stated, “People are being swiftly dissolved into a rapid transmission of energy and circulation of information. There can indeed be many possibilities. But there can also be none at all.”
|Chinese title：||Landscape 68|
|English title：||Landscape 68|
|Medium / Classification：||Oil paints and Acrylic colors|
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|Related Exhibition：||"The Pioneers" of Taiwanese Artists, 1971-1980|
|Related Work：||Landscape 11 Landscape 33 Landscape 12 Sky Blue XIII Sky Blue XI|