ZIYUAN CHEN: Love in Chinatown
Opening Reception: Apr. 2nd, 2021, 6 pm - 9 pm
Location: 174 Roebling St., 1L, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Hours: Tue. - Sat. 11 am- 5 pm, Sunday 12 am - 5 pm, by appointment only.
Artists: Ziyuan Chen
In the light of recent events, LATITUDE Gallery is pleased to present Love in Chinatown, a solo exhibition of Chinese artist/ photographer Ziyuan Chen’s recent project of works from 2020 to 2021.
Love in Chinatown is a long-term project which took place across one year, starting from April 2020. During this past year, the artist has walked around several of the many Chinatowns scattered all over New York, capturing spontaneous shots of their spaces and those who occupy them, in order to capture these people’s stories and amplify their voices, while aiming to portray the unique cultural space which these spaces hold. Starting from personal experience, the artist regards Chinatown as a synthesis full of contradictions which like herself and she seeks for resonance and connection between Chinatown and herself. From observing these Chinatowns as an outsider fresh off of Mainland China soon after arriving in New York, to gradually learning more and more about these communities, this project was also a learning and growing experience for the artist, who found it crucial to portray the love, cohesion and support which these communities offer. In the final representation, the artist has juxtaposed all of these images together. Through these mundane yet slightly absurd images, we may catch a glimpse of the changes which not only Chinatown underwent in the turbulent times of 2020 and 2021 as well as New York as a whole, drawing us in to discuss with a not very typical but young and charming image of Chinatown from the artist’s perspective.
Ziyuan Chen is a New York-based photographer. Born and raised in China, she majored in Fashion Design from Beijing's prestigious Tsinghua University. Shortly after, Ziyuan set her sights on New York City in order to pursue further studies in the School of Visual Arts, where she obtained her Master's degree in Fashion Photography.
Being formally trained as a fashion designer and later as a fashion photographer, this allowed Ziyuan to have a better understanding of the symbiotic relationship between Design and Media, and how to better communicate thoughts, concepts and beliefs through visual media. Her work encompasses various genres of media held together by one common thread - a desire to explore and convey the new aesthetics and perception of oriental culture in the 21st century, as well as her sensitivity and empathy for the people portrayed in via her works. Her photography has been published on Vogue Business, 1 Granary, Dazed Fashion, amongst others. Since studying in New York, Ziyuan has resonated with motifs of cultural and social identity and worked on several related personal projects such as Enroute and Danny Boy.
Uncertainty and a self-conflicting duality of personal social and cultural identities were at once a cause of anguish and anxiety for Ziyuan Chen, but present now a sea of possibilities for further self-learning, growth, exploration and discussing what the true meaning of cultural integration is.