Chen Chieh-jen was born in 1960 in Taoyuan, Taiwan, and graduated from a vocational high school for the arts. He currently lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan.
In 1980s, the Cold War/Martial Law period in Taiwan, Chen challenged the limits of expression under the Martial Law system and the conservative art establishment with guerrilla-style performance art and underground exhibitions.
In 1996, Chen created a series of photographic and video projects that re-imagine, re-write and re-connect his experience of living in a marginalized region. Working with local citizens, Chen Chieh-jen combines experimental aesthetics with the unique poetic qualities of video to initiate dialogue and connections with audiences around the world. Chen emphasizes the use of visual art to suggest bodily memories, perceptions, elusive states of mind, and hard to articulate atmospheres related to ideological and political topics, especially those in this era of increasing neoliberal domination. His artwork is not only an act of resisting the historical amnesia that surrounds us, but is also about imagining new forms through which a “people’s history” can be written and new possibilities through which a “democracy of diversity” can be achieved.Chen Chieh-jen has held solo exhibitions at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum; Redcat art center in Los Angeles; the Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid; the Asia Society in New York; and the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume in Paris. Biennales (Triennial) in the Venice, Lyon, São Paulo, Liverpool, Sydney, Istanbul, Taipei, Gwangju, Shanghai, Fukuoka, and the Brisbane. Chen has also participated in photography festivals in Spain, Lisbon and Arles; Chen Chieh-jen was also the recipient of the Taiwan National Culture and Arts Foundation's National Award for Arts in 2009, and the Korean Gwangju Biennale Special Award in 2000.