Thursday, December 02, 2010

Transexperience – the Life and Death of Chen Zhen

Transexperience - the Life and Death of Chen Zhen

In his conversation of the coined term "transexperience", Chen Zhen
expressed the necessarity for artists to travel, to learn and to
experience. His idea is in accordence with an old Chinese saying, "
读万卷书,行千里路" (Read and travel extensively), which can also be
interpreated as learning from experience. This notion is applicable to
any occupation, including artists. In fact, as art comes from life and
society, it is life experience that educate and inspire artists. As
Chen Zhen said, " like many artists today, I spend two-thirds of my
time each year traveling and working outside of my home." I think his
life experience has contributed to the acuracy and profoundness of his
work. Unlike other artists who do installation only for the sake of
appearance, Chen Zhen's work has very deep social implication, and
reflections on Buddhasim and philosophy. "Ten thousand changes will
not alter the essence of things," and "Stay unchanged to face off the
ten thousand changes." His employment of "Jie" (borrow, also has a
meaning of 'imitation', or 'plagiarize") helped on his fusion of
eastern and western art. I agree with Chen Zhen very much. I believe
that artists should enrich their lives as much as possible, by ways of
traveling, dealing with different peopel and trying different things.
Also artists should have an understanding about history and
philosophy, because art could not exist without the historical
context. I appreciate Chen Zhen's hard working attitude and his
courage to learn and employ foreign languages.

Looking up more information about Chen Zhen, I was shocked to find
that his brother is the incubent head of Ministry of Health of
People's Republic of China. His parents and his brother are all
professionals in health, but tragecally he was diagnosed of hematology
disease, which is incurable, at the age of 25. He knew that his life
was time-limited, hence cherished it more than any one else. He
traveld, learned and worked full-heartedly throughout his short life
and was a very productive and profound artist. He pondered on
children, religion, social issues and life. He is an respectable
artist with real passion.

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