chen zhen

(Shanghai, China 1955 – Paris, France 2000)

Like Huang Yongping and Cai Guo-Qiang, he embodied the dynamic and versatile Chinese avant-garde that, frustrated by post-Maoist reform policies, left China in the mid-1980s. He moved to Paris in 1986, where he studied and then taught at the Ecole National Superieur des Beaux-Arts. A painter, he soon turned to sculpture and installation art and began to work out his trans-historical utopian projection for pursuing harmony by difference. The human body, illness, and Chinese medical practices are the metaphors through which he explored different realities. He acted as a mediator, creating symbolic bridges between classical Confucian and Maoist China and the fractured energy of Western modernity. Confronting memories from his childhood with symbols of contemporary culture, he represented the complexity of cultural globalization, becoming a reference for new generations. His work has been shown at the Venice Biennale and in the most prestigious international venues.


© Glasstress 2017 | credits