Yanyun Chen

Born 1986
Hometown Singapore
Lives and works Singapore

About the artist
Yanyun Chen works in charcoal. Her studio-based drawing practice is driven by questions and the craft of working in charcoal. Her first exhibited series Chasing Flowers challenges the “still-life” genre, by drawing portraits of flowers as they wilt. They are representations of time manifested in the changing conditions of decaying flowers, yet culminating in what appears to be unmoving still-life drawings. This led to explorations in the mythologies of flowers in her ongoing series PoppiesIn the 2016 Horn Trio concert at the Esplanade, Yanyun presented her Experiments with Johannes Brahm’s Horn Trio Movement 1 – 4 shown alongside the performance of Brahms’ compositions. Her drawings have been exhibited in Singapore, notably at ChanHampe Galleries, Visual Arts Development Association Singapore, Jendela (Visual Art Space) and NoiseSingapore.

Aside from drawing, she does research navigating minor gestures, with particular emphasis on themes surrounding blinking, and nudityShe received her Ph.D. at the European Graduate School in Switzerland, where she also obtained her Masters in Communications. She received the Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal Award and the Nanyang Scholarship for her Bachelors in Fine Arts [Hons] 1st class from Nanyang Technological University (Singapore); and has been trained at the Florence Academy of Art (Sweden), The Animation Workshop (Denmark), and under puppet makers Miroslav Trejtnar and Zdar Sorm (Czech Republic). She has published books including 50 Drawing Exercises (co-written, published by Ministry of Education, Singapore), Tracing Etymology: Origin and Time; Monsters and Demons (published by Atropos) and It’s Fiction (co-written, published by Delere Press). Jimmyfish, an eco-awareness flash game built by her team, was awarded the Jury Selection in the 15th Japan Media Arts Festival, 2011.

Currently, she teaches drawing at Yale-NUS College, National University of Singapore and at the School of Art Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University, in Singapore. She is also the co-founder and managing partner of publishing house Delere Press LLP, Singapore.

Personal connections                                                                                                  Flower Flights solo exhibition, 2018-2019, Art Porters Gallery, Singapore                    S.E.A Focus 2020: False Truths catalogue                                                                    S.E.A Focus 2020: False Truths walk-through


European Graduate School, Saas Fee, Switzerland
PhD with Summa cum Laude 2014-2018
Skinning Nudity: a reading of nudities in arts and law in the Singapore context.
Thesis Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Hubertus von Amelunxen (European Graduate School)
Co-supervisor: Dr. Jeremy Fernando (Tembusu College, National University of Singapore)
Defence committee: Prof. Dr. Hubertus von Amelunxen, Prof. Dr. Siegfried Zielinksi, Dr. Jeremy Fernando.

Master of Arts in Communications (Distinction) 2012-2014
Tracing Etymology: Origins and Time; Monsters and Demons
Thesis Supervisors:  Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schirmacher (European Graduate School) and
Dr. Jeremy Fernando (Tembusu College, National University of Singapore)

The Florence Academy of Art, Mōlndal, Sweden
Intensive Drawing Course 2013
Awarded the Talent Assistance and Training Allowance Grant from National Art Council Singapore.

Puppets in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
Marionette Carving and Puppets for animated film workshops June-August 2009
Awarded the National Youth Council Grant 2009

School of Art, Design, and Media, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Digital Animation (1st class honours) 2005-2009
Awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal Award 2009
Awarded the Nanyang Scholarship 2005-2009

The Animation Workshop, Viborg, Denmark
3d Character Animation Workshop January-June 2008
The Drawing Academy
Awarded the MDA Capabilities Development Grant 2008

National Junior College, Singapore
Awarded the MOE Art Elective Programme Scholarship 2003-2004
Awarded the Sapphire Scholars Programme 2003-2004

2020 – National Arts Council Young Artist Award, Singapore
2020 – Prague International Indie Film Festival Q3 “Best Animation Short” for Women in Rage, Czech Republic
2019 – National Youth Film Awards “Best Art Direction” for Automatonomy, Singapore
2019 – ArtOutreach IMPART “Visual Artist Award” Winner, Singapore
2018 – President’s Young Talents “People’s Choice Award” for The scars that write us, Singapore
2012 – Japan Media Arts Festival “Jury Selection Award” for Eco-awareness flash game Jimmyfish, Japan

Solo exhibitions
2020 – Biennale de L’Image en Mouvement BIM 2020, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2020 – False Truths, S.E.A. Focus, Singapore Art Week 2020, Singapore
2019 – Stories of a woman and her dowry, Grey Projects, Singapore
2019 – Variations and Variables, National University of Singapore Arts Festival, Singapore
2018 – The scars that write us, Presidents Young Talents 2018, Singapore Art Museum 8Q, Singapore
2018 – Flower Flights, Art Porters, Singapore
2016 – 追花 Chasing Flowers, NUSS, Singapore

Group exhibitions & film festivals
2021 – Art Fair Philippines, Philippines
2021 – Mirazur x The Mandala Club, Singapore
2021 – Women in Rage, Moscow Indie Film Festival 2021, Russia
2021 – The Body as a Dream, Art Agenda S.E.A (AASEA), Singapore Art Week 2021, Singapore
2021 – Open to Interpretation, Asian Art Institutum, Singapore Art Week 2021, Singapore
2020 – Biome, Singapore Tyler Print Institute, Singapore
2020 – The thought visits you, Asia Now: Paris Asia Art Fair 2020 Online on Ocula, France
2020 – Streets of Hope, National Arts Council, Singapore
2020 – She/Her, Appetite by Restaurant Nouri, Singapore
2020 – Women in Rage, Los Angeles Animation Festival 2020, USA
2020 – Women in Rage, Montreal International Animation Film Festival 2020 Animaze, Canada
2020 – Women in Rage, Prague International Indie Film Festival, Czech Republic
2020 – Women in Rage, Leiden Shorts (Leiden International Short Film Experience), Netherlands
2020 – Clouds: The 6th International Exhibition on New Media Art 2020, CICA Museum, South Korea
2020 – Nefiltravanae Kino Short Movie Club Film Festival “Unfiltered Cinema”, Minsk, Belarus
2019 – FICTION NON FICTION – Reassembling 24 frames of reality through non-narrative film works, Cultural Affairs Bureau, Macau
2019 – 2219: Futures Imagined, Art Science Museum, Singapore
2019 – Remedy for Rage, Objectifs, Singapore
2019 – Singapore Utopia, ChanHori Contemporary, Singapore
2019 – Raw Forms, Coda Culture, Singapore
2018 – Still, Singapore Life, Art Seasons Gallery, Singapore
2018 – Auguries of Modern InnocenceThe Arts House, Singapore
2016 – Untapped Emerging, Shophouse 5, Visual Arts Development Association, Singapore
2016 – Spirit of Place, (part of Liao Jiekai’s The Drawing Room), Jendela Visual Arts Space, Singapore
2016 – What! Another Exhibition? (collaboration with Singapore Horn Trio’s Johannes Brahm Horn Trio op. 40), Esplanade Recital Studio, Singapore
2015 – Studying Life, Artistry, Singapore
2015 – Noise Singapore 2015 Festival Exhibition, Singapore
2015 – Fresh Takes, ChanHampe Gallery, Singapore
2015 – The Mill Destruction & Rebirth, The Mill, Singapore
2014 – Floral Magic x On Pedder, Singapore
2014 – Noise Singapore 2014 Festival Exhibition, Singapore

Other artworks from author

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