Chen Yifei

Chen Yifei

Chen Yifei was born in Zhenhai County, Zhejiang province in 1946, but was considered a son of Shanghai because he spent the greater part of his life there and became one of its most recognized artistic figures. He graduated from the Shanghai Art Training School in 1965 and went on to study at the Shanghai Institute of Painting where he was appointed head of the Oil Painting Department in 1970. Throughout the 1970’s he received many honors at National Art Exhibitions in Shanghai and Beijing. In 1980, he took a big chance and moved to New York to work as a professional painter while studying western art. During his first year in the U.S. he had paintings shown at the New York International Art Exhibition and the New England Center for Contemporary Art and was represented by the prestigious Hammer Galleries, New York. Solo exhibitions followed at Boston City Hall, Smith College, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. He also received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Hunter College, New York. In the 1990’s, Chen Yifei concentrated on commissioned works, including an oversized portrait of Dr. Armand Hammer for the Hammer Art Gallery and Cultural Center, Los Angeles and a major painting for the World Federation of United Nations Association entitled “Bridge of Peace.” During this time he became a film director, fashion designer and magazine publisher. His first movie entitled “Evening Liaison” was selected for the Cannes film festival in 1995. In December, 1996, a major retrospective entitled “The Homecoming of Chen Yifei” premiered at the Shanghai Museum prior to circulating internationally. Chen Yifei died on April 10, 2005, while directing his fourth film entitled, “The Music Box.”

  • Return From Work, 1984
    Oil on Canvas
    30" x 42" (76.2cm x 106.7cm)

    About this work

    Chen Yifei first attracted the attention of international collectors with a series of paintings of the canals of Suzhou. These highly stylized pictures reflected the serene life of everyday people going about their business. They were painted in muted shades of blue and brown in the artist’s unique, softened technique. Chen Yifei has said of this work, “I have always been attracted to the bridges, boats and beautiful scenery of the canal city of Suzhou, that was a part of my life. No matter what else I paint, I will always keep this subject close.”