May 11 – June 29, 2012
Curated by Joanne W. Chen
Artist: Jenny Chen
Opening Reception: Friday, May 11, 6-8PM
Talk on Jenny Chen’s works: Saturday, May 26, 4-5:30pm
Writer Jonathan Goodman and curator Joanne Chen will engage in a discussion of the paintings of Taiwanese-born, New York-based painter Jenny Chen. The conversation will engage the topics of cultural influence on Chen, who has spent many years in New York, and the notion of how abstraction reveals the artist’s development of an inquiring mind. In a multicultural environment that has been so for close to a generation, just how important is it, at this point, to emphasize the cultural differences that occur in Chen’s art? Can abstraction reflect several cultures at once? Is it even possible, in nonobjective work like Chen’s, to separate Chinese from Western influence? Chen’s paintings reflect ongoing changes in mind, which present themselves in a variety of forms. True to her life experience, Chen has forged a formidable path uniting what she knows of two cultures–Taiwan and America. By concentrating on her artworks, Goodman and Chen hope to shed light on both a particular painter and a current movement, in which cultural accommodation is entirely up for grabs.
ISE Cultural Foundation is pleased to present Without End, an exhibition of works by New York-based artist Jenny Chen, curated by Joanne W. Chen.
In a global village, “hometown” is no longer defined by a region. So are the contemporary artists. Educated multi-culturally and internationally, they cannot be defined by a certain nationality. The only certainty is the existence of one’s self and the essence of life- a flowing state of being. In our life, we learn how to “flow” between cities and countries, and to coexist with ourselves and strangers. To survive in a “flowing” society, we need to masticate the negative energy through the creative process and transform it into a new experience. Even if one manages to stay in a “stable” city, the essence of life is indeed flowing by nature. For Jenny Chen, abstract paintings are portraits of the “mind.” The mind changes and so do her paintings. That difference is, in fact, a nature state between the creator and the viewer. Abstract painting is an object of multiple sides. In her work, Chen looks for the meditation space between fantasy and reality. Her creative process is like a series of rituals for clearing the mind. Chen draws inspiration from the ancient Chinese philosophers, Lao Tzu and Zhuang Tzu. In Zhuang Tzu’s philosophy, “free mind” means a person’s spirit is not encumbered by anything, hence reaches a state of true spontaneity and nature, an “effortless effort” (Wu Wei). That is Chen’s spiritual and creative compass.
Image by Jenny Chen, “Flow 2010-01″ 2010, Mixed media, Canvas, 60×48 inches
Executive by inCube Arts, NYC.