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 participated in many important exhibitions, festivals and biennials, including: “Chen Chieh-Jen: Masterclass”, Tate Film, Tate Modern, London (UK, 2020); “Awakenings: Art and Society in Asia 1960s – 1990s”, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (JP, 2018); “Trans-Justice:Para-Colonial@Technology”, Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, Taipei (TW, 2018); “People Walking the Future”, Museum of Contemporary Art Busan, Busan (KR, 2018); “The Human Condition”, Cultural Foundation Ekaterina, Moscow (RU, 2017); “Uprising”, Serviço Social do Comércio, São Paulo (BR, 2017); “On the Empire’s Borders: Chen Chieh-jen 1996 – 2010”, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei (TW, 2010); “Empire’s BordersII – Chen Chieh-jen”, REDCAT, Los Angeles (US, 2010); “Military Court and Prison – Chen Chieh-jen”, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (ES, 2008); “Condensation: Five Video Works by Chen Chieh-jen”, the Asia Society and Museum, New York (US, 2007); “Uprising”, the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris (FR, 2001); Venice Biennale, Venice (IT, 2009, 2005 & 1999); “Sharing Exoticisms”, 5th Biennale de Lyon Contemporary Art, Halle Tony Garnier, Lyon (FR, 2000).
Chen Chieh-Jen was the recipient of the 12th Annual Artist Award of Art China in 2018; the 13th National Award for Arts of Taiwan National Culture and Arts Foundation in 2009, PULSE Prize of PULSE Contemporary Art Fair in Miami, USA in 2008 and The Special Prize of Gwangju Biennale in 2000.