中文
Galleria Continua
San Gimignano
Beijing
Les Moulins
Habana
Roma


B.1955 Shanghai, China - D. 2000


Chen Zhen 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.

Aware of his incurable illness that could have taken his life at any time, Chen Zhen transformed his research and curiosity into artistic creativity and art. 

Chen experimented with a variety of materials, from everyday objects of the humble Shanghai’s everyday life to handmade  crystal made together with experienced italian craftsmen, and to simple candles of common use all over the world. He combined Chinese and Western scientific knowledge and cultural and literal concepts, always juxtaposing them.

Crystal Landscape of Inner Body

(Coq)

2000

Crystal, metal, glass

95 x 190 x 70 cm

37,4 x 74,8 x 27,6 inch

unique work

The work Crystal Landscape of Inner Body evokes the centuries-old Taoist concept of “Internal Alchemy”, a practice of visualising the human body as a form of healing. To initiate a process of purification of the body, one meditates on each internal organ, which with the use of crystal material, reflects on its surface the external world, indicating how they are complementary to each other. In Crystal Landscape, Chen makes his internal organs in perfectly transparent and shiny crystal. 

This purity contradicts the contamination of the body itself.



“The particular geography of the body is called inner body landscape. According to Chinese it is meridians and channels of energy, for westerners it is nerves and arteries. Simply put, Chinese do not perform anatomical dissection.”

“Crystal Landscape of Inner Body is made up of twelve clinical supervision beds that may be installed together or separately. Human organs, made of crystal, lay on the beds to form an “Inner Landscape” of the body. These dozen “bodies” correspond to twelve Chinese astrological signs. They symbolize the differences between individuals, difference conceived as enrichment. These organs are like spherical mirrors: by reflecting the positive and negative aspects of our environment, the “inner landscape” is transformed ... A dozen entities that unveil the fragility of the body and the necessity of taking care of it ...”

Chen Zhen

Instrument musical

1996

Wood, Chinese chamber pots, metal, sound system

68 x 121 x 45 cm

26,7 x 47,6 x 17,7 inch

unique work

In the middle of the 90s Chen Zhen introduced traditional Chinese chamber pots (Instrument Musical, Bibliothèque Musicale, Silence Sonore, Chaise de Concentration...) in his artworks. This wooden object for daily use is always associated with the sound of its cleaning. The artist makes it ‘play’ as a therapeutic organ, which creates a special atmosphere, a moment of social meditation, a ‘cleansing’ of the mind and the body because “health relies in the end on a balancing act, inner peace and universal compassion”. 


“Chamber pots...Daily washing gestures and process: cleansing yourself and cleansing the world.”

Chen Zhen

Sans titre

2000

Candles and wood

48 x 30 x 25 cm

18,9 x 11,8 x 9,8 inch

unique work

“A candle in China symbolizes the life of an individual; beyond the symbolic meaning, this simple material of very common use can be found everywhere and for this reason Chen Zhen chose it. Everybody can build his own house of dreams and hope. The work gives a poetic vision but also raises more complex issues: equality, community, tolerance and mutual understanding, coexistence, a dialogue without frontiers.”

Chen Zhen


Lands-Objectscape

1995

Metal, glass, earth, objects, neon, red acrylic

paint

100 x 110 x 30 cm

39,4 x 43,3 x 11,8 inch

unique work

In this work Chen Zhen has created a sort of glass coffin where different kinds of every day life objects - the witness / victim of our consumer society – are taken out of context, placed together and mixed with earth.

This gesture becomes a rite of transition, which purifies and gives them a new life after their use. It is a true sublimation, a release of latent spirits after the death of consumable products.