At the age of 30, Jun Chen arrived in Australia post Tianamen Square. He settled in Brisbane where his first job was in a Japanese restaurant. He knew nothing about Japanese food having trained as a brush and ink painter at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. That didn’t stop him eventually becoming a part owner of a Sushi Station restaurant. He also reinvented himself as a painter during his further study at the Queensland University of Technology where he graduated as a Master of Fine Arts in 1996, emerging as an impasto oil painter using paint thickly applied with a palette knife. Over the next decade he attracted growing attention and also astute buyers. First hung in the Sulman Prize in 1997, he has also been repeatedly shown in the Archibald, Wynne, and Moran Prizes. This year he had a major solo exhibitions at Australian Galleries, Sydney and is currently exhibiting at Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane.
Jun Chen’s choice of subject matter ranges across landscapes, portraits and nudes which have drawn comparisons with those of Lucian Freud. His paintings are notable for his lavish, even indulgent use of paint and his choice of alluring colours. Yet, despite the amount of paint on the canvas, there is a remarkable refinement to his paintings. His work is represented in important collections. He still lives in Brisbane with his family. His success and growing reputation are richly deserved. The current show is frankly very beautiful.
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