The works in Chen Yanyin’s solo show Files - So Far So Close are not based on sculptures or paintings for criteria, but based on photographs. It breaks the traditional understandings and habitual relations of sculptures. In another word, she doesn’t start it from art perspective, but show her respect to history. It is not showing only for art, but a reproduction of time for history. When creating those pieces, the artist is a daughter of her mother, and then she is an artist. At the thought of old photos, I believe there are numerous families with hundreds of old photos, and there are millions of stories behind those photos. No matter how different, how thrilling or unforgettable the stories are, the ordinary photos are private possession of ordinary people with normal life, and they are spread in a private circle only. With participation of art, the Private is possible to transform to a wider area with more communications and dialogues.
This is reason why Chen Yanyin insists to create sculptures and paintings about her mother for such a long time. Using art to reproduce history, sculptures and paintings are given new meanings. In the form of sculptures and paintings, private history is possible to enter the public area.
When transferring private photos into art, the Private is possible to talk to public. Moreover, once it enters art area, the Private can be spread as an epic; then those old photos related to mother become an epic about mother; the private history turns to permanent because of such spread.
It is a dialogue between person and society, as well as a dialogue of history and present. If personal reflection could arouse social sympathization, the sculptures are more than Chen Yanyin’s personal sculptures at all.