David Chen

David Chen M.A. (Fine Arts), B.A. (Fine Arts), Grad. Dip. Art Education

Born in China in 1961, David studied at Nanjing College of Art and Nanjing Teachers University from 1981 to 1988, attaining a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Fine Arts – David is also a qualified art teacher.

In 1988 he was art editor of the People’s Fine Art Publishing House in Beijing, and by 1989 the political climate was such that his art career was in jeopardy. However, he emerged from those difficulties to rise to national and international acclaim, and in 1991 he was one of 100 representative Chinese artists on a worldwide travelling exhibition. Prior to immigrating to Australia, in 1992 he won the ‘Silver Hawk Award’ at the Fourth International Art Contest in Nice, France, and then in 1993 was invited into the ‘10 contemporary Chinese watercolour painters’ exhibition in Hong Kong. His paintings have been shown at the National Gallery of Victoria and his works are held in private and corporate collections worldwide.

He is known for his penchant for placing figures in the landscape or the naked female form in a room, with such delicacy and harmony that one feels as if one is witnessing a real life happening. Regardless of his picture’s size, he cleverly reveals an intimacy and interdependence between human beings and their environment that is at once revelatory and touching.

While Chinese-born David Chen’s artistic credentials are impeccable, it is his uncanny ability to fuse the landscape and the human form in pictorial harmony that rivets the eye and spellbinds the viewer, setting him apart as an artist of illusionist mastery.

His classical style and technical skill, manifesting in sweeping flickering descriptive brush strokes, deep perspective minus the expected constricting vanishing points, and a refreshing use of abstract colour tonality, secures him a rare place in the Australian contemporary art world.

David’s is a painterly approach where the picture’s subject and the painter’s process are fused into a “figurative approximation” where all superfluous detail is removed by the rendering only of essentials to reveal an evocative yet mysterious atmosphere of scintillating light emanating from the painting’s inner dynamic.

Unusually, the observer becomes at once involved in the intimacy of a private moment’s reflection captured as the painting’s subject and the beautifully sensual rhythmic forms of musical brush strokes becoming objects; a lyrical delight most evident in such refined impressionistic work.
It is as if David has found a way to paint the romance and poetry of our lives with meaning, artistry, sophistication and intellect.

David’s paintings are the distillation of an optimistic vision of art and culture where beauty is not anathema, excellence in painterly execution is not the enemy, and purity of colour attains the spiritual role of transporting one out of mundane routine – his paintings are a joy to behold.

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