Yi Chen was born in Beijing at the end of the Cultural Revolution. After graduating from the affiliated high school of China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Chen left for Canada and studied in Nova Scotia College of Art and Design where he obtained his BFA in 2000. He continued his studies at SUNY Purchase College, New York University and graduated in 2003 with an MFA. With his first exhibition held in a gallery in Chelsea, New York, Yi Chen became later one of the most prominent young artists in Marianne Boesky Gallery. His works have been sought after by different galleries, museums and international collectors.
Chen’s artwork successfully combines his Chinese origin and western artistic training, drawing inspiration from popular culture and fashion magazines. The artist reconstructs the figures extracted from eastern and western magazines on his canvas to produce a hilarious, absurd face – a hybridized form of the human race – that Chen himself considers as a “global melting pot”, where the idea of beauty is standardized and globalized.
Yi Chen currently lives and works in New York.