Ray Chen received his Master of Fine Arts in 1997 from The School for American Crafts, majoring in Ceramics and Ceramics Sculpture at Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY and BFA, Ceramics, from Ohio University, Athens, OH. His education background includes both ceramics sculpture and music. He also graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in voice, and minor in piano in Taiwan National Educational University, Taipei, Taiwan.
Ray has been an Associate Artist at Baltimore Clayworks in MD. Ray was an Associate Professor, the head of the Ceramics Department, at the University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME, (2001-2007), as well as the head of the Ceramics Department at Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN, (2007-2012). He has juried numerous local, national and international ceramics and art competitions. He was the Executive Director at the Chian Zhan Ceramic Arts Center in Taipei, Taiwan (1985-1990) and came to the United States in 1991 to pursue more contemporary issues in his ceramic work. Ray served as the Executive Director at the Halcyon Art Gallery - Swope Art Museum in Terre Haute, IN (2012-1016), and Director and Professor, the Fine Art Department, at the New England Institute of Education in Falmouth, ME. Currently, he is a visiting professor at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN. His ceramic works have been exhibiting both nationally and internationally with numerous reviews and publications. He has been invited to participate in many exhibitions, as well as traveling and lecturing in Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Guam, Hawaii, Netherlands/ Holland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, North America.
“In my sculpture, I represent both Eastern and Western cultural influences. My sculpture is my physical language that crosses the boundaries of culture, while strongly reflecting two other art forms - music and Ikebana - flower arrangement. I have studied music, particularly Western classical music and I have been playing the violin for 18 years, majoring in music and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music from The National Taiwan Education University. My mother was an opera singer who later became an Ikebana designer. At 22, I began to study Ikebana with my mother, a practice which helps me to think about space and visual objects from all perspectives which in turn reflects in my work”.
My artistic training and growth as an accomplished artist has been progressing from a professional well trained in hand-building and the ways of the wheel as a sculptor in Taiwan toward contemporary concepts and contexts as a well-developed installation artist and sculptor. My education experience in the United States has provided knowledge in Western trends in ceramics and has also influenced my current body of work – “Mother and Child”. My ceramic work requires a high level of proficiency and commitment to the ongoing development of the ceramic arts. My experience and expertise in contemporary approaches has actively and professionally involved participation in the national and international ceramics communities.