s The Columns Gallery

Past Exhibition



Yanyun Chen

(b.1986, Singapore, lives and works in Boston, US)

Yanyun Chen is a Singaporean artist who excels in drawing, new media, and installation practice. Her works promote the aesthetic, cultural, and technological inheritances on one's body, unraveling fictional and philosophical notions of embodiment, heritage, and legacies. These works are grounded in the physicality of human and botanical forms. She builds two systems of thought throughout her artistic 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 that we wear and conditions of intergenerational pain. In the latter, she questions the disassociating states 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 and within oneself.

With an investigative lens, Chen observes the intricate relationship between art and nudity, particularly the challenges of offense, censorship, and restrictions in Southeast Asia. Her exploration unfolds as an archaeological journey, extrapolating an alternate perspective of nudity in the Western art canon.

Chen's examination of the body extends beyond its role as a material or medium; it becomes a metaphorical tool for application, transmission, and transfer. The sculpting of the body's existence as a linguistic entity in various languages shapes its implications on the living body, altering language use and contributing to the etymology of the word.

In a compelling gesture, Yanyun Chen's work stands in solidarity with Asian artists persevering in their craft amid challenges. Her exploration seeks to understand and appreciate, on their terms, the essence of humanity and the significance of the body. To her, it is a profound journey into the exploration of what it truly means to be human through the intricate exploration of the body.
2009 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Digital Animation (1st Class Honours) Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
2014 Master of Arts in Communications (Distinction) European Graduate School, Saas Fee, Switzerland
2018 PhD with Sunma Cum Laude European Graduate School, Saas Fee, Switzerland
2022Gently Savage, Art Porters, Singapore
2021Thailand Biennale, Korat 2021, Thailand
2020Biennale de L'image en Mouvement BIM 2020, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2020False Truths, S.E.A. Focus, Singapore Art Week 2020, Singapore
2019Stories of a woman and her dowry, Grey Projects, Singapore
2019Variations and Variables, National University of Singapore Arts Festival, Singapore
2018The scars that write us, Presidents Young Talents 2018, Singapore Art Museum 8Q, Singapore
2018Flower Flights, Art Porters, Singapore
2016追花 Chasing Flowers, NUSS, Singapore
2024Departures: Yanyun Chen, Hong Zhu An, Prabhavathi Meppayil, STPI, Singapore
2024Translations: Afro-Asian Poetics, The Institutum, Singapore
2024Chronic Compulsions, The Private Museum, Singapore
2024Martinique Film Festival, Martinique
2023Invisible Sound, Art Agenda, Singapore
2023Flower Flights, Dublin Art Book Fair, Dublin, Ireland
2023In times like these…, Boston Cyberarts Waveforms 2023, Museum of Science, Boston, USA
2023Utopia Reimagined, Foundation for the Arts and Social Enterprises, Singapore
2023The truth lies in fact, ArtSG FILM, Singapore
2022In times like these…, Singapore International Film Festival, Singapore
2022In times like these…, FIVARS Festival of International Virtual and Augmented Reality Stories, Canada
2022Desirable Body, Hanover Project, University of Central Lancashire, UK
2022While She Quivers, Objectifs, Singapore.
2022In times like these…, Beyond the Curve International Film Festival, Paris, France
2022In times like these…, Berlin Lift-Off Film Festival Online Selection, Berlin, Germany
2021Hindsight is 20/20, 2021 International Short Film Festival Canton, Guangzhou, China
2021Hindsight is 20/20, Semi-Finalist at AXD Film Festival, Alexandroupolis, Greece
2021Grayscale!, Art Porters Gallery, Singapore
2021Art Fair Philippines, Philippines
2021Mirazur x The Mandala Club, Singapore
2021Women in Rage, Moscow Indie Film Festival 2021, Russia
2021The Body as a Dream, Art Agenda S.E.A (AASEA), Singapore Art Week 2021, Singapore
2021Open to Interpretation, Asian Art Institutum, Singapore Art Week 2021, Singapore
2020Biome, Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore
2020The thought visits you, Asia Now: Paris Asia Art Fair 2020 Online on Ocula, France
2020Streets of Hope, National Arts Council, Singapore
2020She/Her, Appetite by Restaurant Nouri, Singapore
2020Women in Rage, Los Angeles Animation Festival 2020, USA
2020Women in Rage, Montreal International Animation Film Festival 2020 Animaze, Canada
2020Women in Rage, Prague International Indie Film Festival, Czech Republic
2020Women in Rage, Leiden Shorts (Leiden International Short Film Experience), Netherlands
2020Clouds: The 6th International Exhibition on New Media Art 2020, CICA Museum, South Korea
2020Nefiltravanae Kino Short Movie Club Film Festival "Unfiltered Cinema", Minsk, Belarus
2019FICTION NON FICTION - Reassembling 24 frames of reality through non-narrative film works, Cultural Affairs Bureau, Macau
20192219: Futures Imagined, Art Science Museum, Singapore
2019Remedy for Rage, Objectifs, Singapore
2019Singapore Utopia, ChanHori Contemporary, Singapore
2019Raw Forms, Coda Culture, Singapore
2018Still, Singapore Life, Art Seasons Gallery, Singapore
2018Auguries of Modern Innocence, The Arts House, Singapore
2016Untapped Emerging, Shophouse 5, Visual Arts Development Association, Singapore
2016Spirit of Place, (part of Liao Jiekai's The Drawing Room), Jendela Visual Arts Space, Singapore
2016What! Another Exhibition? (collaboration with Singapore Horn Trio's Johannes Brahm Horn Trio op. 40), Esplanade Recital Studio, Singapore
2015Studying Life, Artistry, Singapore
2015Noise Singapore 2015 Festival Exhibition, Singapore
2015Fresh Takes, ChanHampe Gallery, Singapore
2015The Mill Destruction & Rebirth, The Mill, Singapore
2014Floral Magic x On Pedder, Singapore
2014Noise Singapore 2014 Festival Exhibition, Singapore