Zhong Chen

Zhong Chen is an internationally renowned and collected artist, who now lives and paints in Australia. Zhong was born in Zhongshan in China, where he was raised by his mother and her extended family, while his father lived and worked in Hong Kong. As a small child, while his mother worked, he would entertain himself drawing. His first introduction to art was when a friend took him to into the Zhongshan Cultural Centre…Zhong was captivated, this was the beginning of his artist journey. With the economic reforms occurring in the 1970’s, China was beginning to open up to the West. As the tight communist control was starting to relax, individual pursuits such as art were now not seen as such a threat to the State. Zhong’s supporting family encouraged and supported him in his passion for art. When Zhong reached his teens, he began a formal education in the arts in Zhongshan. Zhong received a strong education in Chinese art concentrating on Chinese ink brush techniques as well as landscape and portraiture. Zhong continued his formal Chinese art education at Hubay School of Fine Arts, whilst continuously experimenting away from the traditional Chinese style back at home. Zhong became more interested in ‘Western’ art and longed to converse with western artists to have dialogue about their creative processes.

In 1988 Zhong was supported by his family to travel and study in Australia on the basis he must do a one year English course once he arrived. Zhong settled in Adelaide, South Australia and completed a bachelor of Arts degree with honours. Zhong very quickly found an empathy between Chinese and Australian cultures through their shared focus on the historical significance of landscape painting. The importance and acceptance of this genre of painting throughout the Australian art world gave Zhong the confidence to explore the subject of cultural and transcultural identity within a new environment. Zhong’s early work in 1996 “Stupid Laughing Series” explores the identity of people standing in landscapes that they may not originally belong in. Ordinary people in beautiful Australian landscapes whose vastness alone suggests isolation and possible alienation. As Zhong Chen’s work has evolved the formal brush strokes of traditional Chinese painting can always be seen. In 1997 Zhong won a Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship, which enabled him to travel and study at Chelsea College of Arts in London, where in 1998 he obtained a Master of Fine Arts. By now Zhong was experimenting at such as pace though still with the thoughts of depicting the artist, constantly exploring his own identity as well as trying to unravel the thought process of a western artist. His work evolved to a more photographic palette giving his painting a more realist appearance.

As Zhong travelled and absorbed new insights of culture and artistic influences, as well as further experimentation and fine homing of techniques, there was constant evolution of his work.

Zhong Chen CV
Born in Zhongshan, China in 1969 and arrived in Australia in 1989.
1998 Masters of Fine Arts, Chelsea School of Art
1996 Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours), University of SA
1994 Diploma of Visual Arts, North Adelaide School of Art​

COLLECTIONS
Art Gallery of South Australia
Gold Coast City Art Gallery
Western Mining, Australia
Artbank, Sydney
F.H.Faulding and Co. Adelaide
Macquarie University
BHP
SBS, Melbourne
Private Collections in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia​

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2016 REDSEA Gallery, Singapore
2016 REDSEA Gallery, Brisbane
2012 Greenhill Galleries, Perth
2011 Eva Breuer Gallery, Sydney
2010 Singapore Australian Embassy, Singapore
2009 Eva Breuer Gallery, Sydney
2007 Hill-Smith Art Gallery, Adelaide
2007 Eva Breuer Gallery, Sydney
2006 Eva Breuer Gallery, Sydney
2006 Greenhill Galleries, Perth
2005 Metro 5 Gallery, Melbourne
2005 Greenhill Galleries, Perth
2004 Art Galleries Schubert, Gold Coast
2004 Metro 5 Gallery, Sydney
2003 Eva Breuer Gallery, Sydney
2002 Metro 5 Gallery, Melbourne
2001 Eva Breuer Gallery, Sydney
2001 The Alternative Museum, New York
2001 Adelaide Central Gallery, Adelaide
2001 Studio 12, 200 Gertrude Street, Melbourne
2000 Span Galleries, Melbourne
1999 &1997 Adelaide Central Gallery, Adelaide
1995 Nexus Gallery, Adelaide

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2017 Asia Contemporary Art Show Conrad Hotel Hong Kong
2017 Singapore Contemporary, Singapore
2016 Asia Contemporary Art Show Conrad Hotel Hong Kong
2016 An Art Exhibition to celebrate the Anniversary of the Tasmania-Fujian Sister State Relationship, Fujian Museum, Fujian, China
2016 Lunar New Year Exhibition, 204 Art Space, Melbourne
2013 The Sulman Prize, finalist, The Art Gallery of New South Wales
2012 Greenhill Galleries 40th Birthday Exhibition
2012 Melbourne Art Fair, Melbourne
2011 The Archibald Prize, finalist, The Art Gallery of New South Wales
2011 Australian-Chinese Contemporary No.1, Comings and Goings: Lai-Lai Wang-Wang, China Link Gallery
2011 Kings School Art Prize – Finalist
2010 SQUARED, Greenhill Galleries, Perth
2010 Art Melbourne, Melbourne
2009 Home Coming Exhibition, Linda Gallery, Beijing
2009 Figurative Show, Hill Smith Gallery, Adelaide
2009 The Doug Moran Portrait Prize, Sydney
2009 The Salon Des Refusés, Sydney
2008 The Archibald Prize, finalist, The Art Gallery of New South Wales
2008 The Wynne Prize, finalist, The Art Gallery of New South Wales
2008 Doug Moran Prize, finalist, The Art Gallery of New South Wales
2007 The Archibald Prize, finalist, The Art Gallery of New South Wales
2007 The Sulman Prize, finalist, The Art Gallery of New South Wales
2007 The Wynne Prize, finalist, The Art Gallery of New South Wales
2006 SQUARED, Greenhill Galleries, Perth
2006 The Wynne Prize, The Art Gallery of New South Wales
2005 The Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize, Bendigo, Victoria
2005 SQUARED, Greenhill Galleries, Perth
2004 Contemporary Australian Chinese Art, The Response Gallery, Federation Square
2004 SBS Art Award, Manningham Gallery, Melbourne
2004 Cromwells Art Prize, Cromwells Auction House
2003 Redlands Art Prize, Mosman Art Gallery
2003 Mosman Art Gallery, Mosman Art Gallery
2003 Salon des Refuses, Sydney
2002 SBS Federation Art Award, Federation Square
2001 Salon des Refuses, Sydney
2001 ‘Mediated Portraits’, Mass Gallery, Melbourne
2001 Alice Art Prize, Alice Springs
2001 Studio Members Exhibition, 200 Gertrude Street, Melbourne
2000 Melbourne Art Fair, Melbourne
2000 Chemistry : South Australian Art
2000 Art Gallery of South Australia
2000 Redlands Westpac Art Prize, Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney
1998 ‘MA onA4’ The Pump House Gallery, London
1998 Masters Exhibition, Chelsea School of Art, London
1997 Visy Board Art Prize, Barossa Valley, South Australia
1995 Helpmann Academy Exhibition, Adelaide and Indonesia
1990 The Faulding Exhibition

MAJOR AWARDS
2013 Sulman Prize, finalist, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
2011 The Archibald Prize, finalist, The Art Gallery of New South Wales
2011 Kings School Art Prize – Finalist
2009 Doug Moran Portrait Prize finalist
2009 Salon des Refusés, Peoples Choice Award
2008 Doug Moran Portrait Prize finalist
2008 Wynne Prize, finalist, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
2008 Archibald Prize, finalist, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
2007 Wynne Prize, finalist, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
2007 Sulman Prize, finalist, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
2007 Archibald Prize, finalist, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
2006 Wynne Prize, finalist, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
2005 Australia Council Grant to attend a three month residency at The International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York
2002 SBS Federation Art Award, Federation Square, Melbourne
2001 Australia Council Greene Street, New York Studio Residency
2000 The Ian Potter Cultural Trust Grant
2000 Conrad Jupiters 2000 Art Prize – Acquisition – Gold Coast City

Art Gallery
2000 Gertrude Street Residency
1999 Premier’s Award – Emerging Artist of the Year – ARTSA
1997 Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship
1996 Major Prize Winner – Emerging Artist award – Adelaide – Tour to Paris

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS
2005 ‘Paintings by Zhong Chen’, Greenhill Galleries, Review by Judith McGrath
2005 Makin, Jeff, ‘Squaring up old Shanghai’, The Herald Sun, Melbourne
2005 ‘Marriage of old and new experiences’, The Whitehorse Leader, Melbourne
2005 Smith, Nyanda, ‘Zhong Chen’ Greenhill Galleries, Perth
2004 ‘Shanghai Summer’ Exhibition Catalogue, Schubert Contemporary, Gold Coast
2004 Maier, Heidi, ‘Homeland Inspiration’, The Courier Mail, Queensland
2004 ‘Not all as it seems’, The Gold Coast Weekender, Queensland
2004 Xin Nian Contemporary Chinese Australian Art Catalogue and CD
2003 ‘The Pixel Paintings’ Eva Breuer Gallery Catalogue
2003 The top 50 collectable artists, The Art Collector Magazine
2003 ‘In the Frame’ The Sun Herald, Sydney
2003 Li Zhi, ‘The Pixel Myth’, The Australian Art Review Magazine, November – February 2003
2002 SBS art award catalogue
2001 200 Gertrude Street Catalogue
2000 Nelson, Robert, ‘Fairs and Prizes enhance art’s allure, The Age, October
2000 ‘The Right Chemistry’, The Adelaide Review, September
2000 ‘Chemistry’, South Australian Art
1990 The Faulding Exhibition Catalogue
2000 Cultural Identity at heart of SA Award Winner’s Paintings, State of the Arts Magazine
1999 ‘The Samstag Accelerator Effect’, Artlink Magazine of Contemporary Arts Vol 18 # 4
1999 Lloyd, Tim, ‘A man of talent finds his art and a home in his past’, The Advertiser – Adelaide
1999 Radok, Stephanie, ‘My hyphenated identity’, The Adelaide Review, Adelaide