Determined to pursue an art career, Wen studied at Su Zhou University and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1984. He took a job teaching architecture at Hua Qiao University and worked there until 1992, when he flew off to Georgia to study oil painting and seek an international audience for his work.
Wen’s first years in the United States were difficult. He took jobs as a carpet tester and floor polisher to make ends meet and worked to strengthen his English skills. In his free time he developed his painting style, studying impasto techniques and Buddhist wall painting methods.
The artist is guided by his rural roots. He folds together thick layers of paint with a palette knife and carves out bright, expansive landscapes that possess a carefully balanced, serene beauty.
“Nature’s landscape is set on tranquil moods, which is never tiring,” Wen says. Often his only characters are a playful breeze or singing stream, but sometimes solitary figures stroll among the swirling ribbons of color.
It wasn’t long before American art connoisseurs took notice of Wen’s work. He lived in the United States for over a decade and exhibited in more than 100 group and solo shows across the nation, building a passionate base of collectors. The artwork in the Matthews Gallery’s collection is from this period, and is a unique record of the stunning beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Now the artist resides with his wife in China, where he continues to draw inspiration from the natural world for his work.
“The secret to beauty is expression for which no standard can be set against,” Wen says. “Beauty comes from that unique, personal style where one paints with the heart. Paint out the vitality, the emotion. Paint with true love, passion and eternity.”
See more of Wen Zen Chen's paintings.
1980-84 Bachelor in Art and Craft at College of Art, Su Zhou University, China
2001 Eight art works were collected by the Blue Ridge Public Library, GA
2000 "Budda" won Excellent Prize on the National Art Competion held by Wu-DouZi Museum
1998 Feature on "Blue Milk" artist magazine
1996-1998 Chairman of Chinese Artist Association of Atlanta, GA
1996 "Still Life" won 1st Place at Atlanta Artist Club annual exhibition.
Gouache "Sacrificial Rote" won the first prize of another painting exhibition.
1993 Interveiwed by TIME magazine in September
1984 Excellent Prize, Hong Kong Silk Fashion General Exhibition.
1983-84 Chairman of Water Color Society at Suzhou Branch, Jin Su province
2001 "Guan Yin" was collected into "Who's Who of North American Overseas Chinese Artists, II"
2000 "Budda" was published by "The Works of Famous Chinese Artists"
1999 Oil painting "Black Boy" was collected into "Always Bright: Paintings by American Chinese Artist 1970-1999"
1997 Gouache "Atlanta Urban Sight" was published on the cover of "Where Atlanta"
1995 Oil painting was published in "Artists of Chinese Origin in North AMerican Overseas Directory"
1987 "Li Son Yin", ShangHai Art Publication
1984 "Pattern of Yuan Gang Stone Cave Sculpture", Chinese People's Art Publication.
1983 Pattern Works, Practical Art Magazine
2013 “Spectrum”, Group Show, Matthews Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
1995 Personal Show at Atlanta Botanical Garden
1994 New works "Yuan Gang Serials" shown at Atlanta City Hall.
1994 New works "Yuan Gang Serial" shown at AAC Gallery
1993 Personal show at Asian Square Grand Opening Art Exhibition.
1993 Personal show at Gallery of Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta
1993 Personal show at Central Congregation Church, Atlanta
1993 New works shown in Atlanta Artist Club Gallery
1993 "Budda" shown at 6th National Juried Art Exhibition, South Cobb Art Alliance
1993 Self portrait entered the AAC Traveling Show of Georgia
1992-93 "Young Chinese Prize Awarded Artists in America", New York
1992 Textile and fashion pattern designer for D.S.F. Creative Consultant Ltd., NY
1984-92 Lecturer in Architecture and Art Department of Hua Qiao University, China
1988-92 Architectural Renderings for Hua Qiao Architecture and Civil Corporation
1991 Sculpture "Strength" for Nan Feng Textiles Ltd., Hong Kong
1990 Wall painting "Weaver Spirits", for Nan Feng Textiles Ltd., Hong Kong
Georgia Bank of Commerce
Boston Consulting Group