Chen Shaoxiong
Ink Diary

After engaging primarily with video and photography for more than a decade, Chen turned to painting to explore the issue of urban change and memories—both personal and collective. This “return to origin” reveals an interesting critical reflection on the interactive relation between outside change and internal reflection, and the possibility for more experimental approaches that revive “traditional media.” For Ink Diary, Chen recorded his daily life and impressions within a rapidly-changing urban setting in ink wash paintings which he then turned into an animated film. The complex result of this simple process is both highly innovative and reflective of modernization.


Chen Shaoxiong, was a founding member—along with Lin Yilin and Liang Juhui (and later Xu Tan)—of the well-known artist collective “Big Tail Elephant” which arose in response to the rapid urbanization od Guangzhou in the early 1990s. The group created a large body of multimedia work including performance, photography, video, installation, and paintings. In his solo work, Chen focuses his efforts on the new forms of perception of urban visions and life imposed by the age of information and global travel. Using both new media, like photography and video, and more traditional forms like painting, he produces ironic and uncanny images of a new reality and its constant negotiation between reality and fiction, memory and imagination, past, present and future.