In December 2012, Yong Chen was exhibiting a new body of work that explores his immigrant experience in America. His paintings express, through skillful craftsmanship, compositions that evoke a sensitivity to a type of narrative portraiture. Its focus is on new life experiences in America. Chen expresses his voice through a hybridity of the two cultures he represents in his work. His highly detailed renderings of other immigrants have striking references to cultural experience steeped in Western art, yet contain Chinese art-making practice at its core.
Chen hails from Taishan, a town in the Guangdong province of China. He began drawing and painting at the age of four. After immigrating to the United States in 1989, Chen studied graphic design and illustration in Boston and earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Hartford, Connecticut.
Since 1995 he has illustrated/authored many children’s books and magazines. He is also an art professor of drawing, painting, illustration, and design at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston.
This exhibition was curated by James Montford, director of Bannister Gallery. For information about exhibition-related programs, visit www.ric.edu/bannister