Dr. Yanyun Chen is a visual artist, and runs a drawing, new media and installation practice. Her works delve into the aesthetic, cultural and technological inheritances on one’s body, investigating stories as a skin which we wear and conditions of intergenerational pain, unravelling fictional, artificial, and philosophical notions of embodiment; and are grounded in the physicality of human and botanical forms. She builds two trains of thought throughout her works: on bodies and on constructs: in the former, she researches cultural wounds, dowry traditions, hereditary scars, philosophies of nudities, and etymology, and investigates stories as a skin which we wear and conditions of intergenerational pain; in the latter, she questions the disassociating conditions of representing and memorializing the artifice in artistic endeavors as opposed to being present to the experience of witnessing withering and death of what is outside of one’s self.
Chen graduated from the European Graduate School Philosophy, Art, and Critical Thought PhD programme (2018), its Communications MA programme (2014), and Nanyang Technological University School of Art Design and Media Digital Animation programme (2009). She received the Georgette Chan Fellowship (2020), Andreas Teoh Contemporary Asian Art Fellowship (2021) and lectured at Yale-NUS College in Singapore (2015-2022). She was awarded the prestigious National Arts Council Young Artist Award (2020), Singapore’s highest award for young arts practitioners, aged 35 and below. Her works have been exhibited internationally and received numerous festival and museum awards, including Prague International Indie Film Festival (2020), ArtOutreach IMPART Awards (2019), National Youth Film Awards (2019), Singapore Art Museum President's Young Talents (2018), and Japan Media Arts Festival (2012).
Beyond her artistic practice, her notable publications include being the editor of 50 Drawing Exercises, written by Associate Lecturer Martin Constable (RMIT Vietnam), an art teacher’s textbook published by Singapore Teachers' Academy for the aRts (STAR) in Ministry of Education Singapore in 2016. Her academic writings on contemporary animation have been selected as chapters in the Chinese Animation: Multiplicities in Motion manuscript, and in Bloomsbury Encyclopaedia of Animation Studies Volume 2: Techniques, Processes and Environments, an upcoming publication for 2025.