Biography


Laura Chen (b. 1997) is a multidisciplinary artist from The Netherlands, currently based in the UK. Having found belonging within forms of visual communication from a young age, she realised she wanted to become an image maker. At 17, she decided to study abroad and moved to England. In 2020 she graduated from Birmingham City University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Photography. Prolonging her academic journey overseas, she will be studying a Masters in Photography Arts at University of Westminster London.

Working within the fields of photography, moving image and mixed-media art, she translates her thoughts into visual stories. Her image-making process is a never-ending journey of exploration and inspiration, where research and practice are closely intertwined. She does not work in one specific discipline or style; the common identity which unifies her eclectic work is that each individual component is determined by the concept or feeling she attempts to unveil and evoke. 

Fascinated by documenting her daily encounters and whereabouts, Laura uses photography as a catalyst for her imagination, her camera as a tool and device to make sense of the world. Her relationship with the medium is obsessive and intuitive. She is constantly occupied with creating and note-taking. She occasionally works with found or archival images, exploring a range of photo montage techniques. With the use of image-appropriation and manipulation, she attempts to discover and introduce new meanings, create alternative narratives and articulate her ideas. 

From an observant, immersive and investigative stance, she looks for themes and clues that run throughout her findings. Anything can prompt her train of thought and spark her curiosity, from personal and contemporary issues, to something as simple as a word. It is usually the mundane and the obscurities in her immediate surroundings that make for interesting artistic (re)sources. By highlighting certain aspects and ignoring others, she draws people in, subtly directing and influencing their gaze, but leaving it up to them to discover and interpret their personal relation to the story. Her work outlines a particular exercise of seeing and thinking which she intents to share with others: to become more aware of what is already there, reconsider and question the seemingly assumed. Once you tune into this sort of thoughtless act, you start observing the world very differently. 

Education

MA Photography Arts at University of Westminster London | 2020-2022.

BA Photography (First-Class Honours) at Birmingham City University | 2017-2020.

BTEC Level 3 Extended DDD* National Diploma in Creative Media Production (TV & Film) at Walsall Studio School | 2015-2017.

Nominated as UK’s Highly Commended Media Student of the Year 2017 by BTEC Pearson.

Awards

Canon Student Development Programme 2020 organised by Visa Pour l’Image.

Shortlisted EIZO Student Award 2020.

Shortlisted The Nationwide Degree Show 2020 by Fresh Meet.

GUP New Dutch Photography Talents 2020.

Exhibitions

Shutter Hub EVERYDAY DELIGHT (Windows Edition) group exhibition supported by Newspaper Club | UK.

GUP New Dutch Photography Talent 2020 group exhibition and book launch 6-8 December 2019 | Westergas, Amsterdam, NL.

'Killer Queens' solo exhibition 11 September - 13 October 2019 | Foto Atelier BW5, NL.

Sky High Skies 2019 | Transpace Gallery at Illinois State University, USA.

Sandwell Pride of Place Project as part of Blast! Photo Festival 2019 | Multistory, UK.

'Words From Dad'  and commissioned work for Chinese New Year Festival 2019 | Birmingham Hippodrome, UK.

The Green Lens group exhibition 2019 - EcoBirmingham & Ampersand Projects | Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) Birmingham, UK.

Project Birmingham group exhibition 2018 | Medicine Bakery, Birmingham, UK.

Recent Publications

GUP New book 2020 | published and distributed by GUP Magazine & Brinkhof.

Photography of China - about series 'Words From Dad'  | July 2020.

MINA Gallery & Cafe - about series 'Words From Dad'  | June 2020.

GUP New - Interview about series 'Words From Dad'  | April 2020.

in-sight:photography - Interview about my photographic practice | April 2020.

Float Photo Magazine - Portfolio profile about series 'Finders Keepers' | March 2020.

Intern Magazine - Spotlights website feature about series 'Killer Queens' | January 2020.

Aesthetica Magazine - Artist Directory Spotlight - Online & Printed February/March issue #93 |  2020.

Propellor Magazine (Hélice) Issue #3 "Propaganda" 2019.

Midlands Zone #Issue 272, Dec 2019/Jan 2020 | Interview & Monthly Feature about ongoing series 'Killer Queens'.

Midlands Zone #Issue 271, November 2019 | World Aids Day campaign.

Riffs Journal - Volume 3, Issue #1 | April 2019.


GUP New Dutch Photography Talent 2020 at Machinegebouw Westergas, Amsterdam | 6-8 December 2019

Killer Queens solo exhibition at Foto Atelier BW5, The Netherlands | 11 Sep - 13 Oct 2019

The Green Lens exhibition at the Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) Birmingham, UK | 1 Sep - 28 Oct 2018

Project Birmingham exhibition at the Medicine Bakery in Birmingham | 14 - 17 June 2018

Press

The Nationwide Degree Show is a collection of work from art & design students, who's final year shows have been cancelled due to COVID19. What started as an initiative by Fresh Meet to plaster billboards across the UK with student work, has now resulted in an online collection of over 1000 submissions from over 100 universities and 17 creative disciplines. The Curation Series is a programme of student work selected by industry leaders, creative pioneers and trendsetters. My image was chosen and reviewed by The Business of Fashion and award winning photographer Chris Frazer Smith!

The Nationwide Degree Show is a collection of work from art & design students, who's final year shows have been cancelled due to COVID19. What started as an initiative by Fresh Meet to plaster billboards across the UK with student work, has now resulted in an online collection of over 1000 submissions from over 100 universities and 17 creative disciplines. The Curation Series is a programme of student work selected by industry leaders, creative pioneers and trendsetters. My image was chosen and reviewed by The Business of Fashion and award winning photographer Chris Frazer Smith!

Using Format