Chinese artist Chen Qiulin (b.1975) orchestrates and documents mesmerising performance pieces in her native Sichuan Province. She is deeply concerned with China’s current rapid and often destructive urbanisation and uses both post-industrial and untouched landscapes in order to stage her films, photographs, installations, performance pieces and most recently - sculpture.
Her subject matter is autobiographical: having grown up in a small town by the Yangtze river in Hubei Province, Chen Qiulin’s home - and entire surrounding town - was destroyed by order of the government to create space for the construction of the Three Gorges Dam. Like millions of other Chinese, the artist and her family were resettled and had to watch their homes and family history disappear forever. Ever since, she has been exploring the consequences of suchlike events on the Chinese landscape, its people, their identity; and the question of whether these changes create a society of opportunity or a society of loss. Her works illustrate a surprising and exceptional intuitive take on the transformations overwhelming China today, and her representations are unique in their sensitivity and beautiful dramaturgy.
Chen Qiulin graduated from the Printmaking Department at the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts in 2000 and since has had numerous solo exhibitions, including at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan; Today Art Museum, Beijing; University Art Museum, University of Albany; Max Protetch, New York; Long March Space, Beijing; Big Factory, Shanghai; and Internet Affairs, Chengdu. She has participated in numerous group shows in the United States, Europe, and Asia, including at the 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane; Displacement: The Three Gorges Dam and Contemporary Art, Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago; the Seventh Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, Korea; China Power Station Part 2, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo; and The Wall: Reshaping Contemporary Chinese Art, Albright-Knox Gallery and University of Buffalo Art Galleries, Buffalo, New York. In 2007 she was awarded an Asian Cultural Council grant. Her work is in the collections of Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna; the Denver Art Museum; the Bohen Foundation, New York; and the Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts.
Chen Qiulin currently lives and works in Chengdu and Beijing, China.