Chen Chieh-Jen Biography

Chen Chieh-Jen (b.1960) currently lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan. Chen employed extra-institutional underground exhibitions and guerrilla-style art actions to challenge Taiwan’s dominant political mechanisms during a period marked by the Cold War, anti-communist propaganda and martial law (1950-1987). After martial law ended, Chen ceased art activity for eight years. Returning to art in 1996, Chen started collaborating with local residents, unemployed laborers, day workers, migrant workers, foreign spouses, unemployed youth and social activists. They occupied factories owned by capitalists, slipped into areas cordoned off by the law and utilized discarded materials to build sets for his video productions. In order to visualize contemporary reality and a people’s history that was obscured by neo-liberalism, Chen embarked on a series of video projects in which he used strategies he calls “re-imagining, re-narrating, re-writing and re-connecting.”

Chen Chieh-jen has held solo exhibitions at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, REDCAT art center in Los Angeles, the Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Asia Society in New York and the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume in Paris. Group exhibitions include: the Venice Biennale, Biennale de Lyon, São Paulo Art Biennial, Liverpool Biennial, Biennale of Sydney, Istanbul Biennial, Taipei Biennial, Gwangju Biennale, Shanghai Biennale, Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale, and the Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in Brisbane. Chen has also participated in photography festivals in Spain, Lisbon and Arles; and film festivals in London, Vancouver, Edinburgh and Rotterdam. Chen Chieh-Jen was also the recipient of the Taiwan National Culture and Arts Foundation’s National Award for Arts in 2009, and the Korean Gwangju Biennale Special Award in 2000.