CHEN Yiching (b. 1975) is a Taiwanese painter. Chen was graduated with a master degree at faculty of Fine Art, Kyoto City University of Arts in 2004. She was a student of YAMAZAKI Takao, the distinguished master of the Nitten movement, since 2000. In 2003, she won the prestigious Grand Prize of the Shouhaku Museum with her painting entitled "Kabocha" (Pumpkin). Her talent and potential were recognized by UEMURA Atsushi, one of Japan’s great masters of Nihon-ga; she was awarded a studio and the opportunity to study under his guidance following her master degree. In 2004, Chen had her first solo show at the Nasic Square Gallery in Kyoto.
With great admiration of the work of the Impressionists in the late 19th century, Chen moved to France; where she continues to develop her own artistic research and pedagogy in Paris with a well set Nihon-ga atelier. Chen is one of the rare contemporary Nihon-ga artists in Europe, who has lived in Japan and studied under renowned Japanese masters.
Chen is best known for her large scale polyptychs. These multi-paneled screens depict contemporary landscapes garnished with explosions of blossoming flowers. Her other large works also derive inspiration from nature using traditional Japanese painting techniques and materials.
Chen is the author of the first book in French on the practical technique and history of Nihon-ga “Découvrir la Peinture Nihon-ga , Art Traditional Japonais”, published in September 2012 by Editions Eyrolles. Chen is the Professor of Nihon-ga at The Guimet National Museum of Asian Arts, Paris, France, and a member of the Foundation Taylor for Arts, France. Artist currently lives and works in Paris.
Japanese compositional aesthetics, traditional Japanese painting techniques, and raw materials from natural sources are the essence of nihon-ga or Japanese style paintings.
During the Japanese cultural and political reforms of the 7th century students returning from China brought back the literature and arts of the powerful Tang dynasty. Portraits of Buddhas in colour, representations of women, and nature treated as a theme, began influencing Japanese art. Over time these influences blended with local tradition to create a distinctively Japanese aesthetic, conveyed by artists such as the Kano family, Ogata Kôrin, Yokoyama Taikan, the Uemura family. Nihon-ga, as such, emerged at the end of the 19th century, in the Meiji period. Modernisation along with cultural exchange produced a more acute awareness of Japanese identity, resulting in a clear distinction being made between Western painting techniques: yô-ga and the Japanese painting technique: nihon-ga.
In nihon-ga the specific texture and colour are produced by the prolific use of precious metals like gold and silver leaf, along with the pigment powders of different sized particles derived from mineral, plant and animal substances. The precious pigment powders are mixed with a binding agent, a gelatine, made from animal hide, bone, fish cartilage, or algae, then diluted with water and applied with special brushes to the prepared surface. The paintings are done on silk cloth, on wood, or on Japanese paper which is stretched and glued onto mounted wooden panels. The resonance and atmosphere produced by the ground lapis lazuli stone, or the greens of malachite, the shades of carmin from cochineal, tender hues from coral, white gofun from pulverized oyster shell, and combined, or not, with squares, fine threads or sprinklings of gold or platinum, give nihon-ga it’s essential character.
BRONZE MEDAL Painting in Grand Palais « Salon des artistes français », Paris, France.
1st PRIZE of Painting Jury in Salon de peinture et sculpture de la Palette Décinoise, Décines, France.
GRAND PRIX, Shouhaku Arts Museum « 9th exhibition of flower-and-bird paintings », Nara, Japan.
2nd PRIZE in Osaka City Museum of Fines Arts « Zenkansai art exhibition », Osaka, Japan.
PRIZE OF NATIONAL COMMUNITY in Exhibition « Synthesis of the national community », 17th Kyoto Art Festival, Kyoto, Japan.
PRIZE ARTISTIC CULTURE, Japanese painting exhibition of Aogaki, Aogaki, Japan.
1st PRIZE in Zhongbu art exhibition, Taichung, Taiwan.
1st PRIZE in Taipei art exhibition, Taipei, Taiwan.
EXCELLENCE PRIZE, Taipei 228 memorial museum « Taiyang art exhibition » Taipei, Taiwan.