Pilgrimage to a Never Land
Jia Chen is an established New York painter, sculptor, writer and poet. Born with a strong sense of humor, she became an existentialist poet and writer of social satires while a student at Peking University in China.
In New York, at Graduate Faculty of New School for Social Research and Columbia University, she was recognized, in the late 1980s, by renowned scholars like Arthur J. Vidich, Judy Shapiro, and Jose Casanova as “a natural sociologist”, “a great writer in her own right” and “with a unique writing style full of madness”. Her first novellas in The U.S. included “Come with Wind” and “New York as It Is”.
In early 1990s, Jia Chen founded a revolutionary calligraphic style, Unconstrained Freehand Cursive Script. In 1994, she published her theoretical manifesto, “Unconstrained Freehand Cursive Script: A Revolution in Chinese Calligraphic Art”, in spring issue of The International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society.
In May, 1994, she held a joint-show on the Script with Kwong Lum, a New York painting master and art connoisseur, at The National Museum of China in Beijing. According to Dongfang Hu, a Chinese-English art critic, the Script “has revolutionized the art form of traditional calligraphy, posing a bold challenge to conventional criticism and creation. Each piece, permeated with Taoist ideas of Lao Tzu, is novel in both its concept and skill requirements.”
In early, 2000, Jia Chen and Lum held another joint-exhibition on the Script, followed by their one-man and one-woman shows on Lyric American Expressionist paintings. Critics such as Robert C. Morgan and Arthur J. Vidich reviewed Jia Chen’s art work as “intriguing in integrating calligraphy into the Western painting art,” and ”the most avant-garde in terms of its wild imagination and evolutionary skills.”
Since her art shows in the year of 2000, Jia has produced a tremendous amount of art work, including painting series such as “Dreamers Like Us”, “Metamorphosis”, “In Pursuit of Happiness”, and “My Guiding Stars”, as well as a series of sculpture in commemoration of the national tragedy of September 11, 2001, entitled “God Bless America.”, a musical series of 15 love songs entitled “Beloved Celestial Dreams”, and so forth.