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 Sichen Grace Chen

Sichen Grace Chen (she/they) is a painter and illustrator currently based in Langley. She holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).

Symbolized by the pairing of her Chinese name, Sī Chén (思辰), and her English name, Grace, Chen explores the complex relationships between seemingly disparate ideas, objects, and identities, hoping to create space for new perspectives. Growing up in Chengdu, China, for the first few years of her life and moving often between cities in British Columbia has led her to garner an appreciation for the sentimentality and physicality of synthetic and natural landscapes. Many of her works are inspired by moments and objects in her waking life and their transformation into compositions interlaced with memory and metaphor.

Pareidolia, a phenomenon in which the mind perceives meaningful patterns or images in random stimuli, is one of the ways Sichen Grace Chen untangles truth and molds her unconscious childhood and recent memories into their most authentic presentations. Through techniques like dry brushing and collage, her emotions and thoughts manifest through imaginary planes and symbols, contrasted with real-world memorabilia and paraphernalia, thus creating a tension that transcends time and space. Chen paints notions of trauma, mending and healing, and displacement through the allegory of nature and machine-made materials. In her practice, she constantly seeks the interconnections between womanhood, femininity, childhood, and the environment.

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