Gwen Yen Chiu

b. 1992

Gwen Yen Chiu is a Chicago-based, Taiwanese-American artist whose work explores the ephemeral nature of human history, social practices, and emotion through abstraction. Her process features fabricated and cast metal at its core. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design for fashion design and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago for Sculpture, receiving her BFA from SAIC in 2018. Since graduation, she has shown her work both nationally and internationally. Gwen also works as a metal fabricator, assisting artists around Chicago, including Richard Hunt, in all aspects of creating and producing large-scale sculptural works.

“My work has always been influenced by my interest in flight. This interest developed early on, where I would find myself at the age of 5 practicing specific Chinese characters that represented 'flight' over and over again during my Chinese Calligraphy lessons with my mother. I'd express wing-like forms with an extra flick of the brush or being a little over the top with performative gestures, utilizing my whole body to create the sense of 'flight'. This desire for flight later developed into studying and recreating dynamic objects such as Otto Lilienthal and Leonardo DaVinci’s flying machines. Even though many of these highly engineered devices were unsuccessful in defying physics to propel the wearer into the air, they were beautiful artistic creations that resolved the primeval human desire to fly.

Recent events in the world, specifically in the United States, have further reinforced this interest, revealing themselves as no longer a naivete desire, but as a desperate longing to go and fly away somewhere, not here. Through combining sculpture with my training in Chinese calligraphy, my work has not only been an ode to these recent feelings and events, but to my own personal history, manifesting as objects of dynamic movement and gestures. I strive to capture through my work uplifting and fantastical feelings, whilst encompassing the fragility and ephemeral nature of the human condition."

Gwen Yen Chiu (b. 1992)
Heart, 2024
darkened and welded stainless steel
18 x 28 x 16 inches
#13757
Gwen Yen Chiu (b. 1992)
A Tale of Willingness and Sweetness, 2024
darkened and welded stainless steel
28 1/2 x 20 1/2 x 11 inches
#13807
Gwen Yen Chiu (b. 1992)
Heart, 2024
darkened and welded stainless steel
18 x 28 x 16 inches
#13757
Gwen Yen Chiu (b. 1992)
A Tale of Willingness and Sweetness, 2024
darkened and welded stainless steel
28 1/2 x 20 1/2 x 11 inches
#13807
Gwen Yen Chiu (b. 1992)
Perpetuity, 2024
darkened and welded stainless steel
29 1/2 x 34 x 13 inches
#13808
Gwen Yen Chiu (b. 1992)
Sword Dance, 2024
darkened and welded stainless steel
39 x 41 1/2 x 20 inches
#13809
Gwen Yen Chiu (b. 1992)
Come Full Circle, 2024
darkened and welded stainless steel
34 1/2 x 23 x 16 inches
#13810
Gwen Yen Chiu (b. 1992)
Return Home, 2024
darkened and welded stainless steel
84 x 16 x 12 inches
#13811
Gwen Yen Chiu (b. 1992)
Windy City Winter, 2024
Chinese ink on rice paper
12 1/2 x 15 inches
#13780
Gwen Yen Chiu (b. 1992)
3 Hearts, 2024
Chinese ink on rice paper
10 1/2 x 33 inches
#13823
Gwen Yen Chiu (b. 1992)
A Dance, 2024
Chinese ink in rice paper
27 x 13 1/2 inches
#13824
Gwen Yen Chiu (b. 1992)
Fleeting Memories, 2024
Chinese ink in rice paper
8 3/4 x 27 1/2 inches
#13825
Gwen Yen Chiu (b. 1992)
Improvisation No. 20, 2024
Chinese ink in rice paper
16 3/4 x 11 inches
#13826
Gwen Yen Chiu (b. 1992)
Improvisation No. 21, 2024
Chinese ink in rice paper
14 1/2 x 11 inches
#13827
Gwen Yen Chiu (b. 1992)
When the Smoke Rises, 2022
fabricated aluminum
72 x 32 x 21 inches
signed and dated
#13237
Gwen Yen Chiu (b. 1992)
Thought Vortex Variation II, 2022
fabricated aluminum
23 x 17 x 18 inches
signed and dated
#13239
Gwen Yen Chiu (b. 1992)
Moonlit Variations, 2022
fabricated aluminum
18 x 21 x 21 inches
signed and dated
#13240