Allen Hung-Lun Chen

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Artist Statement

Displacement, migration, agency, functionality, boundaries, and rituals are the nouns that describe my work. To expand, to multiply, to walk, to touch, to press, to sit, to look, to bend, to contract, to reduce, to meditate are the verbs that my work enables. My practice points to the less obvious structures that govern our behaviors and thoughts. These structures are often politically charged and dictates how we navigate space.

Many of the objects and materials I choose already have many layers of meanings in them. I playfully manipulate this bag of symbols in order to disrupt the audience. This process of disruption can take place in many forms and architecture spaces. Think of a perfectly leveled cement floor, our body can’t feel our own weight until we step on a piece of rock (img 14, 15) that punctures the flat surface. When we enter a store, we obliviously walk through sets of anti-theft antennas (img 1, 2) that pre-judge our shopping behaviors. To address this phenomenon, I darkened the antennas magnetic surfaces with charcoal so their shady space can be highlighted. Surfaces like concrete floor and objects like anti-theft antennas directly alter our behaviors with us barely noticing them. When we order a cup of coffee from Starbucks, tall, grande (img 13), and venti, become the terminologies for measuring volumes. The alteration does not stop at the object level, it continues to impact our minds and our understandings of physical space.

It is nearly impossible to escape the rituals and rhythms imposed by the things built by both human and the nature. These things provide orders and organizations to the seemingly endless choices that our freedom provides to us. Many of my work extrude themselves in an unpredictable yet familiar manner to confront and confuse the audience. At the core of my practice, I extract the utilitarian quality of these objects and leave their shells (img 8, 9) on display, simultaneously mash up their symbolic nature with our learned behaviors. On the other hand, making the work is to confront my own discomfort and obliviousness toward the physical world, sometimes they are a refuge, a shelter, a play ground, and sometimes they are a recycling plant.




M.F.A. Yale University
International Center of Photography
B.S. Biotechnology California Polytechnic University, Pomona


Yemen Classon, Tokyo, Japan.
Driveway, Brooklyn, NY.
Collected Goods, Long Island City, NY.
Yale Sculpture 2014, StoreFront Ten Eyck, Brooklyn, NY.
Very Yes, Sculpture MFA 2014, Yale School of Art, Yale University, New Haven, CT.
Art Forum page 179, Brennan & Griffin. NY.
MFA 1st year show, Yale School of Art, Yale University, New Haven, CT.
Dumbo Art Festival, Video Dumbo, New York, NY.
Of Bodies and Other Things, Rita K. Hillman Education Gallery at International Center of Photography. New York, NY.
Visualizing Ulysses, 25CPW. New York, NY.


Driveway, Brooklyn, NY.
Hit It, Scrapped Magazine Exhibition, 25 CPW Gallery, New York, NY


Scrapped Magazine
, Editor at Large, New York, NY
Water Issue, Capricious Magazine, New York, NY


Guest Critic, SUNY Purchase, NY.
Teaching Assistant, Yale School of Art, Sculpture Department, New Haven, CT