Komi Chen's unique visual style blends Western realism with a modern Chinese sensibility. As a woman who has spent time in both the East and West, it seems natural that her works would reflect the visual styles of both traditions.
Komi was born in Taipei, Taiwan into an artistic family. Her father, Kuo Hsueh-Hu, is one of the country's premier visual artists and considered one of its national treasures. Her father trained her on the fundamentals of classical Chinese painting and calligraphy.
Komi then attended the College of Fine & Applied Arts at the nation's prestigious training ground for teachers, the Taiwan National Normal University (http://www.ntnu.edu.tw/; English site at http://www.ntnu.edu.tw/english/Econtent.html). There she mastered traditional Chinese fine arts techniques and got her first exposure to Western styles. Soon after graduation, Komi began teaching fine arts at a local middle school.
She moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the late 1960s to pursue an advanced degree in Library Science, but she never lost her passion for art. She began teaching people in local community colleges traditional Chinese painting techniques. At the same time, she began to absorb the visual styles of her adopted homeland, especially Western realism. Komi got actively involved in the local arts community and exhibited at many regional art shows including the annual Three Rivers Arts Festival.
Komi's paintings during her early years in the United States tended towards the traditional mountain-and-water landscapes and still-lifes of flowers and fruit. As she gained more confidence in her own visual style, however, she added more colorful and dramatic works that reflect a passion for native cultures and landscapes from around the world: from serene Japanese temples to bustling ostrich farms in South Africa, from sparkling Canadian glaciers to colorful religious ceremonies at Buddhist temples in Thailand.
We invite you to celebrate the colorful world embodied in Komi Chen's paintings. Enjoy!
Komi Chen joined Pixels on January 19th, 2007.