“Flesh is inherently weak, and the border between life and death is, as such, indistinct”
Born in 1985, Tianzhuo Chen is currently living and working in Beijing, China. After graduating from Central St. Martins College of Art and Design in London, he received his Masters in Fine Arts from the Chelsea College of Art and Design, London.
As a younger generation artist, Tianzhuo Chen skillfully works between the artistic disciplines of installation, performance, video, drawing on paper and photography. Many of his artworks require others’ participation or that of the audience so to take the form of a “happening”, such as an underground party, staged performance, or more conceptually, a constructed ritual site, and ultimately transforming reality into fantasy. Within his artworks, Chen mixes his well versed knowledge of elements and symbols found in religion (like Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, and Shamanism, etc.), subculture (like cult cultures, drag and rave, etc.), popular culture (such as cartoons, hip hop and electronic music, etc.), and dance (like Japanese Butoh and Vogueing) in order to juxtapose the atmosphere, and cause the audience/participants to transcend both superficial sates of the body and spirit. Ultimately, arriving at, what the artist himself has referred to, as a “state of madness”.
Transcending the self and triggering frenzy are the incentives that seemingly motivate Tianzhuo Chen’s artwork. Like a master alchemist, he seeks to bring out elements that already exist within the reality of contemporary society. After their distillation (or purification), he molds and sublimates them into an authentically frenzied atmosphere. The all-seeing eye, Eric Cartman, the racist from “South Park”, and dwarfs that possess elements or symbols of alienation often appear within his works. Whether a wood-carved sculpture, performance prop or video backdrop, his use of bold and gaudy colors in addition to layers of music, both interactively stimulates the senses, and completes the sublimation of his artworks. Tianzhuo Chen’s strong artistic purpose allows him to more freely gather and utilize a diverse range of media. In addition to sculpture, video, installation and drawing, he synthesizes work by including forms of popular culture, such as clothing, music, parties and performance.
Tianzhuo Chen’s strong artistic purpose allows him to more freely gather and utilize a diverse range of media. In addition to sculpture, video, installation and drawing, he synthesizes work by including forms of popular culture, such as clothing, music, parties and performance.