Yiyi Chen is a Chinese artist based in Amsterdam and Zaandam. She was born in 1989, Changsha. Having lived in China for 18 years, she left her city for Singapore to study Product and Experience Design. During the study, she was introduced to a creative world where she realized it would still be her interest to pursue art.
In 2015 she began her study at Gerrit Rietveld Academie where she experimented in different fields, while simutaneously discovering painting as a main means of her artistic expression.
Yiyi Chen asks the question “what is it for us to be?” through her practice of painting. Due to her inborn nature, she feels deeply connected to the spontaneous and insignificant moments in life. For her, in those moments, the sense of being is rooted. The world is revealed as how it is in her distant view, unembellished and un-staged.
She wrote “and I also believe the concealed hides in the mundane that are exemplified by the randomness and trivialness of life, disclosed as such, for the everyday reality is essentially consisted of the uncontrived fragments of our being”.
Hence, she sits and observes, randomly photographs of her daily encounters, capturing the insignificant and the ordinary. Based on those pictures, she paints, projecting her view of the reality. On her canvas, there would be shadows casted on the ground, obscure screenshots of a video call or images of everyday objects, surroundings and human beings... Both her early and later works create an atmoshphere.Though in different visual languages, they share a sense of stillness which accentuates a theme - the silent existence of an object, a scene or a moment.