Lai Chiu-Chen was born in 1970 in Taiwan. After graduating from the National Institute of Arts at Taipei with his BFA in 1994, he enrolled in Taipei National University of Arts and received his MFA in 2002. Lai’s work carries a sense of pop culture, but amidst the animation and comic appearance, its essence sits on the everlasting themes of painting: simulation and reproduction. His state of creating corresponds to what Bohemian-Austrian poet and art critic Rainer Maria Rilke has said: It is exactly from this contradiction between the current trend and the artist’s untimely outlook on life that a series of small liberation emerged.
Lai’s approach to art turns his work, in a sense, into a kind of sampling or specimen of life. As a result of his highly “controlled” working system which prunes trivial composition, perspective and brushmarks, the image itself, as well as layers and layers of color upon it and the painterly touch that hides under the evenly applied surfaces and in the painted frames, are genuinely revealed to us. And these characteristics bring his work a sort of smooth and cooling, solid and rich variation on materiality. Lai Chiu-Chen’s recent solo exhibitions include Bubble Kabushiki Kaisha, Lin & Lin Gallery, Taipei (2018); The Twelve Apostles, Lin & Lin Gallery, Taipei (2015); Rainbows Sugar Goblins, Lin & Lin Gallery, Taipei (2013); Plastic Cream, Lin & Lin Gallery, Taipei (2011); Good Morning, Mr. Click, Main Trend Gallery, Taipei (2008); Brick, Main Trend Gallery, Taipei (2006); Residue & Extraction, Home Gallery, Taipei (2005); Parts of Toys, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei (2003); Merely Two Days, North-South Gallery, Taipei (2002); Archives of Separately Packed Bio-material, Eslite Gallery, Taipei (2001); Division Into Two, Howard Salon, Kaohsiung, Taiwan (2001); Scenery Inside Skull, Charming Art Center, Taipei (1999); Colonialism in Body, Charming Gallery, Taipei (1998); and Death, A Mode of Existence, Galerie Crimson, Taipei (1993).
His work has been featured in group shows including Jōseki: The Contemporary elaboration of Classic formations of Art, Lin & Lin Gallery, Taipei (2019); Borders and Beyond, Lin & Lin Gallery, Taipei (2017); Time & Collection: 2016 Fashion Collection of NTMoFA Design, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan (2016); Love Love - Animamix Biennale, Kaoshiung Museum of Fine Arts, Kaoshiung, Taiwan (2013); Rolling! Visual Art in Taiwan, Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul (2013); Innovation & Recreation: Selected Works from the NTMoFA Young Artist Collection, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan (2013); Sensible Knowledge, Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei (2012); Intimate Views, Lin & Lin Gallery, Taipei (2011); Born in the 1970s, Lin & Lin Gallery, Taipei (2011); Momentum, Lin & Lin Gallery, Beijing (2011); Have You Eaten Yet?- 2007 Asian Art Biennial, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan (2007); A Glimpse of Contemporary Art in Taiwan, Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, Taipei (2006); Scylla and Charybdis in Love: The Challenges Facing Contemporary Taiwanese Artists, Gwangju Art Museum, Korea [itinerary: National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan] (2004); Abnormal Temple, A Group Exhibition, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei (2000); and 1997 Final Roam, Abnormal Temple, Sanchi, Taiwan (1997).
Lai Chiu-Chen’s work has been collected by major museums including Long Museum, Shanghai; Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei; and National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan, among others. Lai currently works and lives in Taiwan.