Ray Chen

Artist Statement

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 and ideally, Mother and Child is from tradition to contemporary, from realistic emotional expression to abstract presentation, from East to West. Abstract forms based on value and an aesthetic expression of feelings toward my mother. I value form, space and line between internal and external–one cannot exist without the other.

For the last several years, I have addressed in my work the central relationship between my mother and myself. Twenty some years ago, my mother fell into Parkinson's disease. As the only son in my family and in accord with the tradition of Chinese culture, it comes to my role to take full responsibility of her and be strong. As a result, my relationship with my mother has grown. I encourage her with love and warmth. May 7th, 2003, my mother has left her physical body and she is in God’s hand now. Her love has been around as always and she has more to offer. The bond is strong that constructs my work of the mother and child.

My sculpture exploration of form, space and line has become my outer language to embody my inner feelings about this experience. It has also expressed the crossed boundaries between Eastern and Western culture and aesthetics-as well as the physical distance between my mother and myself.

Mother and Child is a connection over space and distance with my mother. It is a measurement in feelings through my own personal experience, presenting movement, energy, love, relation, honesty, and integrity. The composition of gestural abstract forms is effected strongly by the spaces between forms. The energy comes from the point where the pieces touch. Also, I believe the content of my sculpture to be an emotional connection between form and materials. My work is my language of communication that crosses the boundaries of culture.


Ray Chen received his MFA in 1997 from Rochester Institute of Technology, NY and BFA from Ohio University. He has been an Artist-in-Residence at Baltimore Clayworks in MD. Ray was an Associate Professor at the University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME. He was also the head of the Ceramics Department at Indiana State University, Terre Haute. IN (2007-2012). He served as Executive Director at the Chian Zhan Ceramic Arts Center in Taipei, Taiwan (1985-1990) and came to the United States in 1991.

Now he is the Executive Director at the Halcyon Art Gallery-Swope Art Museum in Terre Haute, IN. His ceramic works have been exhibited 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, Germany, Guam, Hawaii, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, North America

His education background includes both ceramics sculpture and music. He also graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in voice. His sculpture expresses the crossed boundaries between Eastern and Western culture and aesthetics. His sculpture is also the testimony of his faith”.