Susan M B Chen is a first-generation American artist who paints in search for the meaning of home. Portraits of Asian Americans present members of her racial community as she attempts to readjust her perspectives looking from both the lens of an ethnic majority in one part of the world to that of a minority in another. Interiors and landscapes suggest psychologies of nostalgia and dislocation, drawn from personal narratives and philosophies from The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard. She often uses the interior-exterior juxtaposition as a metaphor to convey themes of dissonance, duality, a search for belonging, and millennial anxieties framed by the digital world.
Chen grew up between Hong Kong and the United Kingdom during the Hong Kong handover, prior to moving to the United States to attend Brown University, where she received her B.A. Honors in Visual Arts and double major in International Relations (2015). Her work has been exhibited by United Kingdom Parliament, Shanghai Hosane Auction House, SPRING/BREAK Art Show, Perry & Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, Brown University Investment Office and is part of private collections in several international cities. This year, she is a finalist for the 2019 AXA Art Prize.
Susan currently maintains her art practice in New York City and is pursuing her M.F.A. in Visual Arts, Painting at Columbia University School of the Arts. Outside of her academics, Susan enjoys curating shows for her peers and early-career artists in pop-up spaces around the city. Through a recently sponsored gift by patrons at UBS and JNPalten International, Susan is now also a member of the Guggenheim Young Collectors Council Acquisitions Committee.