Albert Yi-Fu Chen

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Albert Yi-Fu Chen

ARC Living Artist TM

Chinese 21st Century Realist artist

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  • Biography

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CONTACT INFO:

Website:
albert-yi-fu-chen.webnode.tw
Email: albertyifuchen@gmail.com

Throughout his life, Albert showed strong interest in art and started his training at a very early age. He won many art awards as a child including open art competitions. He studied sculpture, oil painting, black and white photography and Chinese painting as an apprentice in well-established artists studios. He later resided on his favorite, which was sculpture. These formative years have given him a very solid foundation in terms of skills for his future creations.

After finishing high school he served in the Taiwanese Army for two years, during which he was temporarily transferred to work for the Army morale team, allowing him to associate with artists from a very broad spectrum. There were musicians, dancers, stage directors, stage property makers, singers, actors, stage designers and play writes. This experience had a profound influence on his conception on the form of art, which enabled him to view art as not just a singular disciplinary practice but also a multi-dimensional entity.

Aside from his studio training he believes that philosophical analysis will provide an artist's creative impulse with clear reasoning. The ways of artists have been misunderstood since the beginning of modernism. People seem to think art is created out of a sudden revelation or even a kind of 'mistake' that renders art creation at the mercy of chance. The making of art is a complex process. It takes training to actually realize ones' true potential. Therefore, through philosophical training one will see that art and theory are in fact the same entity. The creative process for Albert is not very different from research in other academic disciplines because of the realization that art has never been a spontaneous phenomenon. Art exists in the realm of human convention and history. Hence, art creation can be enriched through philosophical enquiry and visual-cultural research. Consequently Albert has spent many years of his life try to acquire these skills through education.

He migrated to Australia and studied at Melbourne University for a bachelor of visual art and education degree, and then a masters degree in fine art. He later achieved the level of PhD at Monash University. His thesis "Art and Social Dislocation" was awarded the Mollie Holman Medal for the best doctoral thesis in the Faculty of Art and Design in the year 2004.

The Australian art climate during the time when he was a student was somewhat anti-figurative. It allowed Albert to try out modernism and its contemporary techniques. He is very open minded about these movements, but he has also anticipated that the time for people to re-appreciate realism should be quite near.

During the 90's he also traveled to Japan to work for a local ceramic master in Kyoto. There he experienced the hardcore Japanese apprenticeship as well as the Japanese style of neatness and visual presentation. From his understanding, the life of Japanese artists is in itself a form of a religion. Every aspect of it is of a scared ritual.

Albert adores the skills and techniques of the old masters. Deep down, the current modern-contemporary movement never swayed his stance. His skills are a continuation of the classical realism that is applied in our modern setting.

After completing his PhD, Albert did not hurry into his designated path. He decided to explore other directions in life. He began making sculptural violins as well as traditional violins. Through this path he has learned many other skills through the complex process of violin production. Hence, he understands the relation of form and function. Form is not a mere aesthetic or simply an artistic design, it is an embodiment of purpose.

Albert's art is centered on the human figure and human conditions. His approach is not about the beauty of the figure or the contemplation of its proportions. He is pursuing the notion of the existence of the figure that reflects human culture and functions.

He believes that art embodies human experience and re-defines our existence, culture, history and emotions. When we expunge these figurative substances we deny that we are human. That is not to say other choices of art should be devalued, but his is a personal choice and he will pursue it deeper into the future.

We are organic humans, not machines. We are also not perfect and are full of flaws in our cognition as well as in our body. It is not his intention to pretend to create something that is not like ourselves. These qualities of the human conditions make life as well as art invigoratingly interesting.