Born in Taoyuan, Taiwan in 1980, Agi CHEN graduated from the Department of Fine Arts and Crafts at National Hsinchu University of Education in 2003 and received her Master’s degree from the Graduate Institute of Plastic Arts at Tainan National University of the Arts in 2006. In 2014, she completed her Doctoral Degree from the Graduate Institute of Plastic Arts at Tainan National University of the Arts. She was the First Prize winner of the 2005 Taipei Arts Award. Chen’s works integrate the comic-animation characters and the memories of “the generation of image,” analyzing the colors of well-known cartoon characters and transforming the figurative images into concentric symbols. She is most known for her concentric icons of function colors.
Chen’s artistic practice starts with comic animations, while the inspiration comes from her memories and life experiences. The repetitive symbols always leave a mark in our memory, through which we are given a key to revisit the narrative of our lives. Therefore, Chen has created the Function Color series. With her growing interest in the order of the colors in an image, the message’s intensity structured by primary colors, and the language of communication, she restores the color structure of the virtual characters in comic animations, further virtualizes the virtualized, and clarifies the fact that the essence of images is nothing but symbols. In her earlier works between 2005 and 2006, the concentric symbols of function color replaced the comic-animation characters. In this stage, the artist returned to the scenes from comics. The style continued in the later series such as The Key Frames and Circle Island.
The Rotatory Portraits was created in 2013 during the artist’s residency in Scotland. Chen returns to the essence of painting in the making of her concentric images. She replaces computer with a mechanical drawing device, intentionally highlighting the artificial quality. Through the rotating of the concentric-drawing machine, the artist attempts to represent a portrait of motions so that the painting - like quality creates a timeline for the image. Meanwhile, the mechanical motion visualizes the whole abstract process.
Agi CHEN’s works have always focused on how digital media forms the narrative of our lives. Living in a time when no one can get away from any information interface, we let digital media to replace our eyes. Through the frequent use of digital media and the operation process, modern people are getting used to a digitalized image-orientated way of thinking, which dominates our gaze, language for communication, and expressions.
Using computer as an interface to communicate, to read, and to search for information apparently becomes the major way for most of the people to reach the world and to absorb knowledge. It is a life style of the modern society. Our eyes receive an immense amount of images and symbols, while we have already been used to the various translations between the abstract and the figurative. It seems that the whole signifying system and the rules of the world can be replaced by images and symbols. Chen’s works offer a response to the age of information. The interchangeable images and messages textualize the figurative painting, creating a new visual language for the artist.
|Chinese title：||The Rotatory Portraits|
|English title：||The Rotatory Portraits|
|Medium / Classification：||Mixed Media|
|Collection Unit：||Private Collection, Courtesy of the artist|
|Contact method for authorization：||
The artist ( Agi CHEN )
|Related Exhibition：||"The Pioneers" of Taiwanese Artists, 1971-1980|
|Related Work：||Function Color - Beanotown|