Xin Chen is a furniture and metal artist. He currently lives in Ames, Iowa and pursues his MFA at Iowa State University. Originally from China, he earned his BFA from Shenyang Normal University, China in 2004 with focuses on drawing, watercolor and photography. He started focusing on hand crafted furniture work since 2014, and metal work since 2015.
His inspiration is from traditional Chinese culture, such as Chinese music instrument and ancient Chinese characters, and also from American culture, such as native American tattoos and modernism. His body work seeks to reflect the design motifs of cultural spirit that indicate Eastern and Western cultural conflict and harmony. This reflects his personal experience, growing up in China and later pursuing higher education in the US.
An important feature of his furniture work is that his furniture is assembled by tension of rope and can be dissembled into individual pieces which symbolize culture representations. For example, a chair called “Squares or Circles?” when dissembled is transformed into a traditional Chinese instrument, Huqin. The process of disassembling and rearranging is not only about playing with furniture, but more about inheriting and carrying forward Chinese cultural traditions.