We could only repeat some past experiences to reconcile with the world around us.
Rather than an introduction about my work, it is more apt to call this written passage a reflection of my personal experiences.
It is all about travelling and moving; about the scattered bits and pieces left behind by the trail of time. The work depicts a scene, an unconscious void captured in motion. It depicts the moment as we sway along with the movement of an MRT train, and the moment motorcyclists stopping under traffic lights. These are the pieces of time that silently slip through our fingers. I attempt to extract meaning from these endless voids and repetitions. I try to erase past memories and withhold anticipation for the future, for they are mere distorted versions of life attitude. I even try to find a way towards self-reconciliation.
What lies within those seemingly weightless spaces? What absence of greatness could have led people to willingly subject themselves to such ordinary routines? The seemingly abstract and remote experiences are every bit as real as the ghosts that haunt us day and night. I’m scared of ghosts. In a sense, ghosts are very real, because they occupy our fears. They are our resistance to the dark and unknown. You think it abstract? Absolutely not. These moments are all very real to me.
As an artist, I try to express myself via effective language and verbal communication. I have no intention to incite complex discussions or deliberately project a sense of abstractness for my work. Nor do I anticipate a dualistic debate about discipline or free-spiritedness. My work is a mere acceptance of emptiness and void. My wish, perhaps, is simply to reenact a common scene that happens to spark our imagination, just so we could retain those transient moments.
Every day at dusk is a brief intermediary when daytime meets nighttime. It is the time when spirits sneak out of their hideouts. We call it the magic hour. It usually lasts a mere few minutes. As for me, I try to capture the magic hour that comes and goes every day.
With the enormous anxious that images brought (to me), I focused the questions on the things that I care about, and reconsidered my relation with the images. Between the artistic practice and digit media, all sorts of complicated and delicate relations, I tried to develop some possibilities in it. That is, I combined the realistic and fictitious things with the invention shown of digit technology and imitating ability, created new scenery, like the one who created the universe.
Images of the human body are often transformed into symbols, flattened into two dimensional images, or decontextualized in digital arts. This artificial style (non-natural) is often the focus and highlight of My creative works. From "Good Morning Bill", which features an image of the human body in an artificial landscape, to the more recent works of "The Unconscious Voyage" and "Playground", which features a mosaic of the human body against a backdrop of metropolitan spaces, the solitude of human images and a digitally decontextualized mosaic turns the images of the human body into symbols, yet allows them to carry their own stories.
In a certain image that I wanted to present is, returning to the original me, the artist. Meanwhile, I acted as God, let true people and fictitious railway platform being built and constructed again utilizing digital treatment in this work. Then a scene appears, invites you to join in the space between realities and imaginings, and makes you feel familiar but strange also. You are just like a transient guest in the journey, opening your own memory. The role people act themselves with no dialogue. “Waiting” is the only thing that becomes possible in this fictitious space.
1982 Born in Hsinchu County, Taiwan
Chen, Wan-jen specializes in using post-production animated images in his creative expressions, whereby many common everyday street settings captured in professional manner are collaged and edited with images downloaded from the internet.
Chen's image theater gleans its subject matter from life. For him, the content of "real" everyday life is acted out through images. They do not make us conscious of the issue of whether the images are real or fake, but directly touch upon the discrepancy between implied reality and re-creation. He intentionally chooses ordinary scenes from life, attempting to piece together the fragments and to reinterpret the experiences we have lost.