Cindy Yuen-Zhe Chen
2021 A dialogue between Chinese and Australian women artists


Cindy Yuen Zhe Chen has been making art for over a decade and recently completed a Doctor of Philosophy in Art, Design and Media at the University of New South Wales Art and Design examining how listening and drawing can extend experimental art practices. Chen has exhibited in Australia and China in solo, group and finalist prize exhibitions and presented her research internationally in England and China.

Her work combines traditional practices such as drawing and Chinese and Japanese materials with scientific findings to create comploroary practices which explore her body’s interaction with the surroundings.

Fluvial Dynamics plays with the concept of mobius loop, which is a singular continuous surface, the most simple unoriented surface whereby there are no inside, outside right or wrong. This series of work reimagines how Chinese scrolls can be viewed and seen. Fluvial Dynamics are made by using traditional Chinese Wenzhou paper, and they are made in the rain as she listens to the sounds of the rain surrounding her, allowing the ink to spread and bloom with the rain drops.

Resonant flows (video installation) are made at three different bodies of water: Parramatta river, lane cove river and middle harbour all places she has stayed and worked. The Sound Recordings are made through a process she called sound feedback drawing which captures sounds as they bounce off surfaces such as her hands or waves and birds.

These sounds are then used to create Sonic Ink Paintings where the painting is achieved by capturing the movement of water through the sound vibrations. They serve to remind people of the importance of conserving rain, especially in countries like australia. All of her works explore her relation to her surroundings as a migrant women artist, and Chen appreciates the opening up of opportunities for coloured women in art in Australia.

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