Ray Chen, a scholar, curator, writer, teacher and sculptor born in Taipei, Taiwan, was assistant director at the Chian Zhan Ceramic Arts Center; he moved to the United States in 1991 to pursue ceramics contemporary issues.
He has organized 9 national and international symposia, including a cultural & technological exchange between West and East; worked with universities-ceramics departments, the Yingge Ceramics Museum, local industrial and artistic field in Taiwan, to exchange Western image transfer technology (2010); the “Clay Expression-From Cultural Influence to Modern Context”, a month-long symposium inviting artists from the Czech Republic, Korea, Slovakia, Ireland, the Netherlands, Japan and USA in the United States (2009); and organized a cross-cultural Traveling Research Tour: Asian Ceramics Preview–Taiwan/Japan (2010).
He has curated and juried over 25 exhibitions worldwide, including “The 6th International Ceramics Symposium “CERAMIC LABORATORY”, Latvia (2018), The New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum 2012 juror’s selection committee, assisted with “The Perspective of Taiwan Contemporary Ceramics Today” NCECA exhibition (1996), and was selected curator of the IAC-50th US national delegation, Switzerland.
Ray, scholar member, the Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC, USA since 2010, has written scholarly articles and delivered over 80 public lectures in 32 countries. He currently serves as advisory board member of the International Shino Symposium, Beijing, China; 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 presently is Director of the Fine Arts Department at the New England Institute of Education, ME, USA.
Ray, 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 to represent The Virginia A. Groot Foundation (2018). https://www.virginiaagrootfoundation.org/
Ray is an IAC member (USA). His “Mother and Child” series, has numerous reviews and publications, is represented in 44 major public collections in 19 countries, including the Warsaw National Museum, Poland (2012), Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art, Japan (2000), National Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic (2009), Schloss Glucksburg Ceramics Museum, Germany (2018), De-Hua White Porcelain Museum, China (2020), Icheon World Ceramics Foundation, Korea (2013), National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, Smithsonian, USA (2003), Museum of del Cantir d’Argentona, Spain (2019), the New Taipei City Yingge Ceramics Museum, Taiwan (2016), and many others.
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”.
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.