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b. 1980, China

Chen Wei Biography

The photography/installation works of 31-year old artist Chen Wei illustrate an intricate imagination fascinated with the eccentric and fanciful pursuits of early science, mathematics, alchemy, philosophers and madmen. Taxidermy, broken mirrors, melted wax, bats, bees, deserted bedrooms and found objects become the artist’s tableau. With a meticulous attention to details, Chen Wei creates mesmerising scenes that leave the viewer puzzled by their intricate narrative, fantastic visual impact and odd beauty. In some of the works, the sole human subject resembles an absorbed mad scientist or passionate poet, adding feelings of isolation or estrangement to an already bizarre scene.

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Chen Wei’s creative and contemplative process consists of searching for and compiling myriad fragments of personal memories, and incorporating inspiration and objects from childhood or fantasies imagined juxtaposed with realities found in modern China. Most of the works are sketched and created on location in the artist’s studio and then photographed, with the end result being less about the camera process as it is about the assembly of the elaborate elements that are captured in his works. The spirit and style of Chen Wei’s photography works also point towards a new generation of emerging Chinese artists born in the 1980s who are less focused on political history or obvious social criticisms than personal and intellectual freedoms and the individual’s place in a now modern and developed China. History for them has been obscured by economic and social reforms, and the speed and scale of development is the contemporary China they have witnessed.

Chen Wei
featured artworks

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Sweet Dream (Shanghai) by Chen Wei contemporary artwork sculpture
Chen Wei Sweet Dream (Shanghai), 2019 Stainless steel, iron, wood, acrylic, motor, controller, copper coin, sponge, LED lamp, power supply
160 x 66.5 x 57 cm
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Two Lights #1004 by Chen Wei contemporary artwork works on paper, print, drawing
Chen Wei Two Lights #1004, 2016 Archival inkjet print, mounted on aluminium composite panel, toughed acrylic
50 x 40 cm
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S by Chen Wei contemporary artwork print
Chen Wei S, 2018 Archival inkjet print, lightbox
187.5 x 150 cm
He Art Museum
In the Waves 在浪裏 by Chen Wei contemporary artwork installation
Chen Wei In the Waves 在浪裏, 2013 Photograph on lightbox
100 x 80.5 x 12 cm
Tai Kwun Contemporary
Silent Balls by Chen Wei contemporary artwork photography
Chen Wei Silent Balls, 2014 Archival inkjet print
150 x 187.5 cm
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In the Waves #3 在浪里 3 by Chen Wei contemporary artwork photography
Chen Wei In the Waves #3 在浪里 3, 2013 Archival inkjet print
150 x 187.5 cm
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Light A Candle (Size A) 蜡烛 by Chen Wei contemporary artwork photography
Chen Wei Light A Candle (Size A) 蜡烛, 2011 Archival inkjet print
100 x 75 cm
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Fresh Paint by Chen Wei contemporary artwork photography
Chen Wei Fresh Paint, 2017 Archival inkjet print
150 x 187.5 cm
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Chen Wei
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exhibitions

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Represented by this
Ocula Member Gallery

ShanghART contemporary art gallery in Singapore
ShanghART Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore
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Chen Wei in
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