Ray Chen received his Master of Fine Arts in 1997 from The School for American Crafts, majoring in Ceramics and Ceramics Sculpture at Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, USA and BFA, Ceramics, from Ohio University, OH, USA. His education background includes both ceramics sculpture and music. He also graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in voice, and minor in piano in Taiwan National Educational University, Taipei, Taiwan.
Ray’s primary professional ceramics training both as a professional functional potter and designer, as well as, contemporary sculptor at the Chian Zhan Ceramic Arts Center in Taipei, Taiwan and moved to the United States in 1991 to pursue more contemporary issues in his ceramic work.
Ray was an Associate Professor at the University of Southern Maine and Assistant Professor at Indiana State University as the head of the Ceramics Departments. He also was the Executive Director at the Halcyon Art Gallery – Swope Art Museum in Terre Haute, IN. Currently, He serves as the Director of Fine Arts Department at the New England Institute of Education, USA.
Ray is a member of International Academy of Ceramics, and serves as an advisory board member of International Shino Symposium, Beijing, China. He has conducted numerous regional, national and International Ceramics Symposiums, as well as, juried numerous regional, national and international ceramic exhibitions.
Ray’s ceramic works have been exhibiting both nationally and internationally with numerous reviews and publications. He has been invited to participate in many exhibitions and traveling lecturing in Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Finland, Germany, Guam, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, and North America.
Henry Moore says “sculpture must have life in it. Creating a vitality and life within a form, gives it meaning and primitive power infused with humanist content”. Conceptually, “Mother and Child” moves from tradition to contemporary, from realistic emotional expression to abstract presentation, from East to West.
For the last several years, I have addressed in my work the central relationship between my mother and myself. Eastern culture and my family education have shaped my (early) life… to be humble, be polite, and be patient, preserve harmony but to be sensitive. I have been learning and growing to become who I am through experiencing the process of time and culture, and history and values. “Mother and Child is a connection between my mother and me over space and distance. It is a measurement in feelings through my own personal experience, presenting movement, energy, love, relation, honesty, and integrity. The energy radiates from the point where the pieces touch. Feelings toward my mother and her devastating illness mesh into one. Negative space and lines are drawn between internal and external emotions.
In my sculptures, the exploration of form, space and lines, have become an outer language to embody my inner feelings. The composition of gestural abstract forms is also affected strongly by the spaces between forms. The objective is to compose a portrait that is charged with rich emotional and spiritual vision.
The relationship between mother and child is universal. Clay and fire transcend the value of humility and express the texture of emotions. Mother and Child is a timeless statement of maternal love.