Wk 12 – Artist Conversation -Jennifer Chen

Artist: Jennifer Chen
Exhibition: Succession  
Media: Printmaking, Ink
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Website: None
Instagram: None

Jennifer Chen is a Printmaking major at California State University of Long Beach. She is currently a graduate student after graduating with a Biology major. She claimed that she wanted to take a different route for her graduate degree. Although there is a significant difference with these degrees, she stated that the art she creates has a combination of artwork as well  as a science aspect which is definitely seen in her pieces. She is planning on teaching an art class on campus for the fall semester.

Succession is a series of paintings that are made with the use of printmaking and Ink. In a few of the paintings, she combines a computer like look on some of the trees and a realistic look on the others. These paintings are filled with contrasting edges and curves. They have jagged corners as well as soft and smooth angles.The other pieces resemble the bark of a tree and the writing is like carvings. The painting is made of ink yet seems like it is done using a knife. The wood colors make it seem like it were carved on a birch tree since they are thinner than most and has a grey color.

Succession’s main goal is to depict what human involvement does to the ecosystem. On the virtual paintings, it describes the mapping that google has done in order to help those get directions. This is how the web sees nature with all of these jagged angles and edges. It cannot truly capture the look of the trees which is what is being seen in her print work. It also shows the human activity being done since there are only the trees are jagged looking but the buildings are not. On the wood paintings, this also has the same effect. The carvings on the wood show the interruption that people do to the environment. The trees cannot do anything about the carvings on them which is very similar to what we are doing to its ecosystem. The trees cannot defend themselves when we as a society choose to take part in deforestation and pollution.

Overall, I really enjoyed the combination between the biology and art that Chen created. She was able to give nature the voice that they could not provide for themselves. It makes the observer think about what is really happening to the nature around. These pieces transported the audience to the outside world and to accomplish such a feeling is very difficult. Because Jennifer Chen was able to accomplish beautiful pieces of art as well as get her point across, I give Succession  my seal of approval. Unfortunately, she does not have a Instagram or website. However, since she will be teaching her own class, you can check her out at the CSULB campus!


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