Chen Wenbo was born in Sichuan, China, in 1969. He graduated from the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts in 1991.
Chen’s detailed paintings place him in the Chinese contemporary realist movement, where he and his contemporaries study the quotidian object as centerpiece in their works.
Chen Wenbo’s works are characterised by the use of vivid colours and a hyper photorealistic style rendered on a massive scale. Close to the ‘Political Pop’ movement at the beginning of his career, Chen Wenbo was inspired by consumer culture and gradually turned his artistic focus to the depiction of city life and popular culture.By literally illustrating this rave culture, his works transcribe a hallucinated vision of Chinese society and dwell on the brutal transformation brought by the introduction of consumerism and the emerging materialistic culture in the 1990s. Chen Wenbo combines the sharpness and flatness of photography and the design of advertisement in his depiction of products. The choice of objects, matches, dice, mahjong tiles, a toilet, a sink, a cityscape, a warehouse door, an empty crossroad, etc. is a statement in itself. His more recent pieces take up the same themes, but a new direction. He paints scenes taken from quotidian photographs across multiple large and irregularly shaped canvases.
His work is in major public collections such as the Ullens Foundation, Belgium; Olenska Foundation, Switzerland; Guang Dong Art Museum, China; Uli Sigg Collection, Switzerland; He Xiangning Art Museum, China; the dslcollection, France; and White Rabbit Gallery, Australia.
2009 ABIO-VIEW: Chen Wenbo Solo Exhibition, Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai, China
Chen Wenbo: Broken Series, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), Beijing, China
2008 Chen Wenbo: Epidemiology, Galerie Michael Schultz, Berlin, Germany
Asian Rays, PKM Gallery, Beijing, China
2006 On the Green, Courtyard Gallery, Beijing, China
2005 Mystery, Grace Alexander Gallery, Zürich, Switzerland
2003 Back Door: Chen Wenbo 2003, He Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen, China
2000 Chen Wenbo: Vitamines Z, Loft Gallery, Paris, France
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS:
2012 LATITUDE/ATTITUDE: 20th Anniversary Exhibition, Schoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kong
Face, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China
2010 The Official Opening of Minsheng Art Museum – Thirty Years of Chinese Contemporary Art, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China
2009 METROPOLIS NOW! A Selection of Chinese Contemporary Art, Meridian International Center, Washington (DC), USA
2007 Thermocline of Art. New Asian Waves, ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe, Germany
2005 Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection, Kunstmuseum Bern (Museum of Fine Arts), Bern, Switzerland (2005); Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany (2006); University of California, Berkeley Art Museum, Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA), Berkeley (2008); Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), Salem (2009), USA
2004 All Under Heaven: Ancient and Contemporary Chinese Art – An Exhibition of the Collection of the Guy & Myriam Ullens Foundation, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen (M HKA, previously MuHKA, Museum of Modern/ Contemporary Art of Antwerp) and Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen (KMSKA, Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp), Antwerp, Belgium
2002 Beijing Inaugural Exhibition, Schoeni Art Gallery, Beijing, China
CHINaRT, Contemporary Chinese Art, organized by MKM Museum Küppersmühle, (Centre for Modern and Contemporary Art), Duisburg, Germany (2002); MACRO Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma, Rome, Italy (2003); Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary (2003); Municipal Gallery, Bydgoszcz, Poland(2004); La Lonja, Palma de Mallorca, Spain (2004)