Jen Chau was born in Maryland, USA and took her first flight at six months old when her family returned to Hong Kong. In 1997, shortly before the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the UK back to the People’s Republic of China, Jen finished secondary education and left for California to pursue her undergraduate studies. She graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California and worked as an editorial and commercial photographer and producer in Los Angeles, California. In 2009 Jen moved to London, UK for postgraduate studies in psychology and art psychotherapy at University of Roehampton. As a result of her work as an Art Psychotherapist, she began painting regularly and began taking some painting classes. During the Covid-19 and Brexit chaos in 2020, she moved to Lisbon, Portugal where she has opened Atelier do Tijolo, a working artist studio and gallery in the historical district of Alfama, where pursues her own painting full time.
Painting for me is an internal and self-reflective process that results in a physical object to be viewed and reflected on by others. I find fascinating the power that we imbue into a painting: an object of monetary value, social commentary, an expression of our unconscious, political rebellion etc. Sometimes I try to sit as the painting: being stared at, sometimes ignored, being projected onto, being the cause of insight and disagreement, and sometimes even thrown away or stolen. I am enchanted with the idea that perhaps a single painting can magically hold the ideas and psychologies of all those who come into contact with it.
My paintings develop their own trajectories over time as I incorporate various emerging influences and themes that resonate with me from my day-to-day. Sometimes it’s a news story that captures my interest, or a pattern or a colour, and sometimes its a feeling or movement. Often my paintings are ambiguous as I try to find balance and harmony between opposing views. As my paintings tend to parallel my psychological preoccupations much of my work this year has been reflecting on time and internal/external space.