Ray’s primary professional ceramics training both as a functional potter and designer, as well as, contemporary sculptor, as his focus, at the Chian Zhan Ceramic Arts Center, also as assistant director, in Taipei, Taiwan and moved to the United States in 1991 to pursue more contemporary issues in his ceramic work.
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, NY, USA and BFA, Ceramics, from Ohio University, OH, USA. 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's 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. His education experience in the United States has provided knowledge in Western trends in ceramics and has also influenced his current body of work – “Mother and Child”. His ceramic work requires a high level of proficiency and commitment to the ongoing development of the ceramic arts. His experience and expertise in contemporary approaches has actively and professionally involved participation in the national and international ceramics communities.
Ray is a proactive and award-winning artist of prestigious international awards, including The Virginia A. Groot Foundation grant (2001, 2017), NCECA Emerging Talent Artist award (2001), was the only 3D medium ceramic artist chosen to produce a documentary film: Only Son https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZPzicfIWmk to represent The Virginia A. Groot Foundation (2018). https://www.virginiaagrootfoundation.org/
Ray is a member of International Academy of Ceramics, the highest level of quality in all ceramic cultures, based in Geneva, Switzerland, a part of the UNESCO. Ray is a curator, writer, educator and artist. His is a scholar member of the Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC, USA since 2010. He has written scholar articles and delivered over 100 public lectures in 32 countries. The “Mother and Child” series is represented in 44 major public collections in 19 countries. He also serves as an advisory board member of International Shino Glaze Symposium, Beijing, China.
He has taught at University of Southern Maine/Associate Professor (2001-07) and Indiana State University/Assistant Professor (2007-12), undergraduate/graduate, as program head; worked as Executive Director, curator of the Halcyon Art Gallery, Swope Art Museum, IN (2012-15), and funder of New England Institute of Education (NEIE) since 2013 www.neie.us/ , presently serves as Director of the Fine Arts Department at the NEIE, ME, USA. He has organized and conducted numerous regional, national and international ceramics symposiums, as well as, juried numerous regional, national and international ceramic exhibitions.
"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 in 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”.
Ray’s ceramic works have been exhibiting both nationally and internationally with numerous reviews and publications. He has been invited to participate in many exhibitions and traveling lecturing in Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Finland, Germany, Guam, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, and North America.