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Recap: Meet the Artist: Chen Dongfan, 7.22.20

Recap: Meet the Artist: Chen Dongfan, 7.22.20

On July 22, China Institute presented its next installment in our “Meet the Artist” series of public programs, this episode with artist Chen Dongfan and art historian Xin Wang.

Chen Dongfan believes mythology still looms large in China’s collective imagination. The Wuhan hospitals built with lightning speed to address the coronavirus, for example, were named Thunder God Mountain and the Fire God Mountain. Chen is fascinated by the role that mythology plays in contemporary society: from the Mexican Muralists’ interest in Prometheus to pop TV fantasy and sci-fi that takes on folkloric characteristics. In this thought-provoking conversation, the artist shares with curator Xin Wang how mythology informs his graffiti-like murals (he transformed Chinatown’s Doyers Street in 2018 into a celebration of color) and perspectives on being a recent immigrant artist. Chen’s work looks deeply at contemporary culture, and asks, is our subconscious still driven by ancient mythological beliefs?


This event was co-presented by the Dr. M. T. Geoffrey Yeh Art Gallery at St. Johns University in conjunction with the exhibition Chen Dongfan: Sanctuary.

Full Video of the Virtual Program


See more from our playlist of virtual and in-person Arts and Culture programs