Further Biographical Context for Kezhen Chen
Born in 1959, Kezhen Chen grew up during the 1970s and was inspired by the artistic atmosphere of the time. The 1970s were a period of consolidation and development in the arts, most often characterised as a response to the dominant strains of the preceding decade. Conceptual art developed as a key movement, and was in part an evolution of and response to minimalism. Land Art took the works of art into the expansive outdoors, taking creative production away from commodities and looking to engage with the earliest ideas of environmentalism. Process art combined elements of conceptualism with other formal considerations, creating cryptic and experimental bodies of work. Expressive figurative painting began to regain prominence for the first time since the decline of Abstract Expressionism twenty years prior, especially in Germany where Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer, Georg Baselitz became highly renowned figures worldwide. New York maintained an prominent position in the international art world, ensuring that international artists continued to gravitate to the galleries, bars and downtown scene in the city. n Japan and Korea, artists associated with the Mono-Ha movement explored on encounters between natural and industrial materials such as stone, glass, cotton, sponge, wood, oil and water, arranging them in mostly unchanged, fleeting states. The works focused on the interdependency of these various elements and the surrounding space, and had a strong interest in the European philosophy of phenomenology.