Dr Yanyun Chen (born in 1986, Singapore) is a visual artist . She runs a charcoal-based drawing a/r/tographical practice, researches cultural wounds, and tells auto-fictional stories of living and dying bodies—witnessing flowers unfurl and wither; investigating nudity embroiled in historical spectacles and censorship; tracking fictions and operations of etymology; and reading scars on skin. Her works ground themselves in readings — fictional and philosophical — and are brought forth through a blend of classical Eastern and Western drawing methods and techniques. She was presented with the People’s Choice Award at the President’s Young Talents 2018 exhibition at Singapore Art Museum and was the winner of the 2019 ArtOutreach IMPART Visual Artist Award.
She received her BFA in Animation from Nanyang Technological University, MA in Communications and PhD in Philosophy, Art and Critical Thought from the European Graduate School. She has trained in Singapore, Sweden, the Czech Republic, and Denmark.
She teaches in the Humanities department at Yale-NUS College in Singapore; manages illustration and animation studio Piplatchka; co-founded Delere Press; and has been awarded the Special Jury Prize at the 15th Japan Media Arts Festival. Her published works include ’50 Drawing Exercises’, ‘Tracing Etymology: Origin and Time; Monsters and Demons’, and ‘It’s Fiction’.
Dr Chen co-wrote an art teacher’s textbook entitled 50 Drawing Exercises with artist Martin Constable (RMIT), published by the Ministry of Education. This book serves to aid in building a drawing curriculum for pre-university art education in Singapore.
She obtained her PhD from the European Graduate School, in the division of Philosophy, Art and Critical Thought, in 2018. Her dissertation research, entitled ‘Skinning Nudity’ investigates the notion of nudity as an artificial construct—in its representations in Singapore artistic practices, in censorship limitations by the legal and policy frameworks, and through its historical evolution by local media coverage from the 1970s to 2017.
She obtained her Masters in Communications at The European Graduate School in 2014. Her thesis entitled ‘Tracing Etymology: Origin and Time; Monsters and Demons’ was supervised by Wolfgang Schirmacher and Jeremy Fernando, and was published by Atropos Press in 2015. It attempts to rethink the relationship between ‘origin’ and ‘time’ in etymology and thought. It considers the paradoxical relationality between the notion of a single starting point (a fiction that etymology relies on) and the various possibilities that a hermeneutical study of a word unearths, suggesting a constellation rather than a single origin.
“Flower Flights”, by Yanyun Chen, with writings by Jeremy Fernando, Junni Chen and Lim Lee Ching, published by Swell Sg, Singapore, 2018. ISBN 978-981-14-0033-9.
“50 Drawing Exercises”, edited by Martin Constable and Yanyun Chen, published by Singapore Teachers’ Academy for the aRts (STAR) for Art Teachers in Ministry of Education Schools, Singapore, 2016. ISBN: 978-981-09-8445-8.
“Chasing Flowers : workings”, written by Yanyun Chen and Junni Chen, published by Knuckles&Notch & Delere Press LLP, Singapore, 2016. Risograph print zine. ISBN: 978-981-09-9769-4.
“Tracing Etymology: Origin and Time; Monsters and Demons”, written by Yanyun Chen, edited by Jeremy Fernando, with an introduction by Jeremy Fernando and Esther Ng, published by Atropos Press, New York, 2015. ISBN: 978-1940813943.
“It’s Fiction A 2014 Drawing Catalogue”, with text by Jeremy Fernando, Dustin Hellberg, Anders Kølle, published by Delere Press, Singapore. 2014. ISBN: 978-981-09-2656-4.
“On Invisibility; or, towards a minor ju-jitsu”, written by Jeremy Fernando, illustrated by Yanyun Chen, published by Delere Press, Singapore, 2013. ISBN: 978-981-07-4309-3.
Introduction to 2D Animation
Introduction to the Arts
Art Studio Research, Experimentation, and Critique
Advanced 2D Animation and Storytelling