Chen Zhen, born in Shanghai in 1955, studied at the Shanghai School of Fine Arts and Crafts in 1973. In 1976, he then started teaching there before going, in 1978, to the Shanghai Drama Institute where he specialized in set design and later became a professor in 1982. He was fascinated by the science of human body. He was an artist who made of experimentation and philosophy of life his own expression of art.
At the age of twenty-five, Chen Zhen was diagnosed with an incurable illness, an experience which gave him vast insight into the value of time and space at a strong analytical level.
In 1986, after arriving in France, Chen Zhen began to concentrate on installation art. His work began to develop according to a transcultural school of thought, a concept that the artist called ‘Transexpérience’, based on the relationship between man, consumer, society and nature.
Although Chen Zhen’s career sadly ended in 2000, his open-minded approach and quality of his work gained him widespread international recognition for his innovative approach to installations that often present a dialogue between cultures, unusual material alliances and new connections between Eastern traditions and the Western artistic vocabulary. Chen Zhen transformed his research and curiosity into artistic creativity and art. He experimented with a variety of materials; from objects from Shanghai’s humble everyday life, to handmade crystal made in collaboration with experienced Italian craftsmen or simple candles of common use all over the world. He combined Chinese and Western scientific knowledge, and cultural and literal concepts, always juxtaposing them.
Adel Abdessemed Etel Adnan Ai Weiwei Leila Alaoui Juan Araujo Kader Attia Daniel Buren Cai Guo-Qiang Alejandro Campins Iván Capote Yoan Capote Loris Cecchini Elizabet Cerviño Chen Zhen Nikhil Chopra Marcelo Cidade Carlos Cruz-Diez Jonathas de Andrade Berlinde De Bruyckere Leandro Erlich Carlos Garaicoa Osvaldo González Antony Gormley Gu Dexin Shilpa Gupta Subodh Gupta Carsten Höller Eva Jospin JR Ilya & Emilia Kabakov Zhanna Kadyrova Kan Xuan Anish Kapoor André Komatsu Jannis Kounellis Luis López-Chávez Jorge Macchi Ahmed Mater Cildo Meireles José Manuel Mesías Sabrina Mezzaqui Moataz Nasr Rudi Ninov Hans Op de Beeck Ornaghi & Prestinari Giovanni Ozzola Susana Pilar Michelangelo Pistoletto Qiu Zhijie Tobias Rehberger Arcangelo Sassolino Manuela Sedmach Serse Kiki Smith Nedko Solakov Marta Spagnoli José Antonio Suárez Londoño Hiroshi Sugimoto Sun Yuan & Peng Yu Ana Maria Tavares Pascale Marthine Tayou Armando Testa Nari Ward Sislej Xhafa José Yaque Zhuang Hui