Early Works: Statement

Untitled Portraits, 2015
I focus on environmental portraiture. I intend to capture the seemingly unexceptional moments of the people that I encounter in my everyday life. Stylistically, I choose to be very direct with my subject matter and environments abandoning all notions of ambiguity. I want to portray each person in the simple private moments of his or her day. I invite the viewer to consider the person’s body language and their interaction with the space surrounding them. I take this straightforward approach to narrow the gap between the viewer, the photograph, and the subject for an intimate art experience.

The people in my photographs often emit striking spirit and power, where they appear to be declaring their presence in the space around them. Body language is a three-dimensional expression, one that cannot to be ignored or muffled. It is as if one is demanding their desires and needs be met. This to me is better than any kind of language. It is convincing and universal. For this reason, these works convey a feeling of being alone on the inside. Words are meaningless when one is in the pursuit of truth. The truth of who we are and what we desire is found the movements of our body, and the expression in our eyes.

Chenscape, 2015
When I started photography, I had no interest in creating a landscape image. I never understood the purposeof a landscape photograph. In my eyes it felt like a documentation more than a work of art; to me it wassimply travel photography for tourists.

Recently, I was proven otherwise.I am happy to have come here to CIA because now I have the right answer. In recent lectures from Professor Barry Underwood, I have learned that landscape photography is much more than a pretty picture.It is our environment in which we exist, in which we interact and create. Landscape surrounds andinfluences our culture. It impacts our decisions in life and contributes to our human progress. It is our dutyas inhabitants of this earth to preserve it in its current state through photography, as the earth is foreverchanging.In this project, I use a Holga to create a double exposure on black and white film.

I chose to use black andwhite film photography because it is visually more pleasing to the eye in a double exposure. Where colorcan cause too much chaos in an image, black and white photography makes sense of an otherwisenonsensical scene.I have come to really enjoy the process of creating a new scene by combining two different scenes into one.In this, I can take what seems like two completely opposite or incompatible scenes, and make them worktogether.

This is my personal challenge. To make two incompatable scenes into one strong workingphotograph. I call this “Chen-scape.”Though I have made much progress, this project for me is not yet done. I will continue to create more“Chenscapes” until I find my own answer to the question “What is landscape and what is it’s purpose?”

in the hope of, 2012-2015
Recently, I have been committed to capturing light.Principle photography is painting with light.

Light is the essential tool to capturing a moment, a scene, oran idea. Light is diversity. It can take an otherwise ordinary seen and make it important. Whether it is aportrait, a landscape, or even still life, any type of photography needs successful lighting to strengthen theimage.Light is essential. It is what lifts our spirits when the summer sun is bright, what depresses us when awinter storm snuffs out the daylight, and what fills us with fear when the lights go out in our homes. It is anubiquitous art.I want to capture the peacefulness of a scene.

I make the light leave an aura of emotion surrounding eventhe simplest of moments. When I see the light in such a way that it fills me with some kind ofunexplainable emotion or peacfulness, I want to document it. I want to remember it. I capture the lightbecause I want to remember how I felt when I first saw it, knowing that the light may never be the sameagain.

This is my last project at CIA. Even if this project is not my best, it will be mymost important.

Happy Alone, 2014
A series of environmental self-portraits taking place in my house. I use the visual effect of polyptychs to create panoramas. With the intension to make new emotional associations with these images, I hope that people will relate and recognize themselves in my self-portrait.

These photos are mainly focused on the environmental portraits and still life. Because of enjoying recording things happen and simple in my life, I tried to usepanoramic photography technique to bring out new emotional and visual effects, which are strictly related to the lives of most people. The panoramic photograph is built up by several of single photos. In my works, each single photo put together by relationships among objects, colors, shapes, textures, and background. What I did aim to let viewers can see those separated pictures as a single one. When I put them together, will become an emotional scene orstory because portrait represent emotion and still life are giving emotion.

As an artist, creating a closer relationship between traditional portrait and still life is a meaningful thing. I express the pure emotion through the portrait actively. At the same time, using still life photographs is a better interpretation.