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Jun Chen

Jun Chen

Meet visual artist from Kaohsiung, Jun Chen

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was so obsessed with the game Zookeeper as a kid I dreamed about being one in real life. So ridiculous! I also remember jotting down the word “maid” under the “ what do you want to be when you grow up “slip of paper in kindergarten.

 

Describe the city you’re living in and what it’s like to live there.

Technically I live in a town called Meinong, which is in the outskirts of Kaohsiung City. It is incredibly peaceful here, there are uphill hiking routes near me and lush green rice fields which serve as my visual therapy breaks from bleak blue-lit screens I stare at most of the day. 

 

One of the best things about Kaohsiung is its close proximity to the beach! You can get tasty seafood at the local eateries for a better price than in Taipei.

 

What is the best and worst thing about living in your city?

One of the best things about Kaohsiung is its close proximity to the beach! You can get tasty seafood at the local eateries for a better price than in Taipei. The worst part is probably that it only has one season, which is summer. It makes me terribly miss cold and gloomy London weather.

 

Give us 3 words that describe what it’s like to be a creative in your city.

 Dynamic, fulfilling and muted.

 

How did you start your career in art?

Like many other kids, I have been drawing since I was little. It was during my first year of college when I decided that my visual narratives are best suited in the illustration language.

 

Like many other kids, I have been drawing since I was little. It was during my first year of college when I decided that my visual narratives are best suited in the illustration language.

 

Were the people around you supportive of your decision on working as a creative?

Yes! I am very grateful and lucky to have friends and a family who fully supports my path as an illustrator and hopefully a filmmaker. 

 

What are some goals and ambitions you have for your future work?

I am pursuing to make more animation work during my MA degree at the Royal College of Art in London, I am hoping to experiment with different animation softwares and possibly mixing it with 3D gimmicks if needed conceptually.

 

If you could collaborate with any person in the world who would it be?

Bjork! I know that dream is really far-fetched but I really admire the creatives and film directors that have made work for her. ( i.e  M/M, Andrew Thomas Huang and James T Merry)

 

How would you describe the women around you?

Open-minded, strong-willed and inspirational!

 

Open-minded, strong-willed and inspirational!

 

Were there any local female creatives that you looked up to when you were growing up?

My older sister! She is a fine artist currently based in Taipei, Taiwan. Her works revolve around the morbid anatomy and macabre art. She makes beautifully rendered grotesque illustrations with ink and acrylic.

 

Are there any challenging aspects of being a female in your industry?

There are many subtle nuances that unveil a strong patriarchal narrative within the Taiwanese fine art circle, especially those from my parent’s generation. I am elated to see more exposure given to female artists in recent years, led by female curators and art directors in the fine art and design field. 

 

I believe everything you make should be valued as an artefact of your creative process and it will lead you somewhere unexpected.

 

Do you have any advice to young women who are aspiring to work in your field?

Keep experimenting with different mediums and concepts. Art is subjective so do not be discouraged from making more work if you receive any negative criticisms! 

I believe everything you make should be valued as an artefact of your creative process and it will lead you somewhere unexpected.

 


What type of music do you like to listen to?

Trip-hop, hip-hop, jazz, funk, psychedelic jazz, soul, RnB, indiepop, bit of folk, UK garage, experimental techno, synthpop, romantic and modern instrumental music, dreampop, alternative, coldwave, post-punk, and pop! I love Massive Attack and FKA twigs.

 

What’s your favorite local food spot?

Ibu’s Kitchen, a Taiwanese-aboriginal fusion eatery just a few blocks from my house.

 

What question would you like us to ask the next artist?

Which art piece would you steal at a museum?

 

 

Photos courtesy of Jun Chen

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