Photo Credit: NIU Chun-Chiang

CHEN Ching-Yao

CHEN Ching-Yao's Art Work Detail
CHEN Ching-Yao's Art Work
CHEN Ching-Yao's Exhibition
CHEN Ching-Yao's Art Work Photo
CHEN Ching-Yao's Exhibition Photo

CHEN Ching-Yao

Location USA / Los Angeles
Residency 18th Street Arts Center
Year of the Grant 2010
Work Home Away From Home
Personal Website CHEN Ching-Yao's Personal Website
Los Angeles is an interesting city. It is also a hub for the Asian immigrants in the United States perhaps due to its geographical proximity to Asia. Coming from Asia, I was particularly interested in the Asian communities in LA. I had spent quite some time visiting and observing places such as Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Koreatown, Little Taipei, and etc. To me, these areas somehow resembled concession territories, like nations within a nation. Different groups of people gathered here and besides from working hard for a living, they also held nostalgia towards the countries of their origin. This sentimentality for home not only shows up in the local foods, but is also expressed in the local architectures.

I went on my way to photograph the specific architectures in these Asian American areas. I noticed that the inhabitants of a building, be it a simple residential housing, a temple, or a shop, tended to express their attachment for their home countries through the building designs. However, Los Angeles is not, and will not replace, Tokyo or Japan. What the Asian residents created were merely resemblances on the surface, crude counterfeits of ‘the Orient’ that were far from the real thing.

Reflecting on what I had achieved during my residency: I created some new works, began planning for my next project, conducted artistic exchanges with the local art circle, and most importantly, visited many Hollywood film production sites/studios to learn of the process as well as the scale of the professional film/TV industry in the United States. My new findings in the film industry were very helpful to my artistic development as the entertainment business had been a significant element of my art concept and practice. My residency experience had also allowed me to meet some foreign artist friends and is indeed a fruitful and unique life experience.