Dr. Yanyun Chen (b. 1986, Singapore) is a visual artist, and runs a drawing, new media and installation practice. Her works delve into the aesthetic, cultural and technological inheritances on one’s body, unravelling fictional and philosophical notions of embodiment, and are grounded in the physicality of human and botanical forms.
She builds two trains of thought throughout her 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 which we wear; in the latter, she questions memorialising the artifice in art as opposed to being present to the experience of witnessing withering and death of what is outside of one’s self.
Her recent works include Furious Fires (2020), False Truths (2020), Women in Rage (2019), Stories of a woman and her dowry (2019), The scars that write us (2018), Skinning Nudity (2018) and Flower Flights (2018).
She received the prestigious National Arts Council Young Artist Award (2020), Singapore’s highest award for young arts practitioners, aged 35 and below. Her works were also awarded the Prague International Indie Film Festival Q3 Best Animation Award (2020), ArtOutreach IMPART Visual Artist Award (2019), National Youth Film Awards Best Art Direction Award (2019), Singapore Art Museum President’s Young Talents People’s Choice Award (2018), Japan Media Arts Festival (2012) and Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal Award (2009). She is listed on Tatler’s Asia’s Most Influential: The Culture List (2021).
Chen graduated from the European Graduate School Philosophy, Art, and Critical Thought PhD programme (2018), its Communications MA programme (2014), and Nanyang Technological University School of Art Design and Media Digital Animation programme (2009). She is the Arts Practice Coordinator and Lecturer for the Humanities division of Yale-NUS College in Singapore, the founder of illustration and animation studio Piplatchka, and a partner of publishing house Delere Press LLP. Outside of Singapore, her works have been exhibited internationally, including Buenos Aires, South Korea, Canada, USA, Belarus, The Netherlands and Czech Republic.
She lives and works in Singapore.