Laura Chen (b. 1997) is a Dutch image maker and writer based in London, UK.
Working with photography, text, collage and archival materials, her multidisciplinary practice is an investigation into the obscurities and idiosyncrasies of the mundane — whether overlooked everyday objects or communities and individuals who live and work on the fringes of society. Her work associates a fine art and playful documentary approach where research, implementation and intervention are closely intertwined. Recurring themes and interests include memory, deception, identity, tactility and fiction. Fascinated by observing and recording her daily encounters and whereabouts, she uses photography as a catalyst for her imagination; her camera as a tool to make sense of the world.
In 2022 she was nominated as Foam Talent, LensCulture Summer Open Award Winner, Palm* Photo Prize Finalist, Rabo Photographic Portrait Talent Winner and Prix Virginia Finalist. Her work has been featured in and published by Photo London, PhMuseum, British Journal of Photography, Source, PHROOM, LensCulture, Canon, Dutch National Portrait Gallery, Life Framer, Refinery29, Aesthetica Magazine, amongst others.
She has exhibited at Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation (DE), Foam Amsterdam (NL), Pingyao International Photography Festival (CHN), 10 14 Gallery London (UK), Open Eye Gallery Liverpool (UK), Midlands Art Centre (UK), Ikon Gallery (UK), Westergas Amsterdam (NL), Depot in Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam (NL), Keilepand Rotterdam (NL) and Garagem 180 Porto (PT).
She has editorially contributed to several printed and online publications on contemporary photography, including GUP Magazine, British Journal of Photography, Photomonitor, Discarded Magazine and Mirrored Society.
In 2020 she graduated from Birmingham City University with a BA Photography. In 2022 she finished her MA Photography Arts at the University of Westminster London.
Foam Talent 2022.
LensCulture Summer Open Awards Winner 2022.
Rabo Photographic Portrait Talent Winner 2022 by Dutch National Portrait Gallery.
Prix Virginia Jury's Choice 2022.
Palm* Photo Prize Finalist 2022.
Royal Photographic Society IPE 164 Shortlist 2022.
EIZO Student Award Finalist 2022.
PhMuseum Women Photographers Grant Shortlist 2021.
British Journal of Photography Edition 365 Award Winner 2021.
The Top 200 PhMuseum's Stories of 2021.
Budapest International Foto Awards Honorable Mention 2021.
GUP FRESH EYES Talent 2021.
PhEST Reunion Calling Winner (PhMuseum) 2021.
BCN Bursary Winner by Multistory 2021.
Galleries Without Walls (Gallery of Photography Ireland) Shortlist 2021.
Royal Photographic Society Postgraduate Bursary 2021/2022 Shortlist.
GUP New Talent 2020.
Life Framer Editor's Pick Humans of the World 2020.
GRAIN BCU Graduate Award 2020.
Canon Student Development Programme organised by Visa Pour l’Image-Perpignan Festival 2020.
EIZO Student Award Shortlist 2020.
2023 - Foam Talent at Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation, The Cube, Eschborn, DE.
2023 - Photo London LensCulture Summer Open, UK.
2022/23 - Foam Talent group exhibition, Foam Amsterdam, NL.
2022/23 - Rabo@Depot in Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, NL.
2022 - Degree Show University of Westminster - Ambika P3, London, UK.
2022 - Pingyao International Photography Festival, China.
2022 - Palm* Photo Prize group exhibition, 10 14 Gallery, London, UK.
2022 - The Unexposed by Canal180 - Garagem 180, Porto, Portugal.
2022 - then there was us. Ways of Living, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, UK.
2021 - British Journal of Photography Edition 365 - Virtual Exhibition on New Art City.
2021 - SHOUT Festival, Birmingham, UK.
2021 - FRESH EYES group exhibition and book launch, Keilepand Rotterdam, NL.
2021 - Shutter Hub YEARBOOK.
2021 - Ikon for Artists, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK.
2021 - Mass Energy Group Photo Exhibition + Zine Project, Bibliotheca, London, UK.
2020 - Shutter Hub EVERYDAY DELIGHT (Windows Edition) poster exhibition across the UK.
2020 - The Nationwide Degree Show by Fresh Meet.
2020 - Birmingham City University Online Graduate Show.
2020 - GUP New Dutch Photography Talent group exhibition and book launch, Westergas, Amsterdam, NL.
2019 - Sky High Skies, Transpace Gallery, USA.
2019 - Sandwell Pride of Place Project as part of Blast! Photo Festival, Multistory, UK.
2019 - Chinese New Year Festival, Birmingham Hippodrome, UK.
2019 - The Green Lens group exhibition, EcoBirmingham & Ampersand Projects, Midlands Arts Centre (MAC), UK.
2018 - Project Birmingham group exhibition, Medicine Bakery, Birmingham, UK.
PRESS & PUBLICATIONS
(2023) British Journal of Photography - 'Being Framed' featured in the Education collection.
(2022) Foam Magazine #61 Talent Issue.
(2022) LensCulture Summer Open Awards Winner.
(2022) Source Graduate Photography Showcase.
(2022) Grandmama's Print.
(2022) The Unexposed documentary series by Canal180.
(2021) FRESH EYES book Powered by GUP Magazine.
(2021) Mass Energy Zine.
(2021) Homing Zine - No Go Press.
(2021) Membrana Magazine Vol. 5, no. 1.
(2021) Print Magazine Issue 05.
(2021) Life Framer My Favorite Shot.
(2021) Musée Magazine.
(2021) The Pupil Sphere.
(2020) Photo London Issue 15.
(2020) GUP New book.
(2020) Canon 'Encourage' book.
(2020) Photograd Zine.
(2020) Aesthetica Magazine.
(2020) Propellor Magazine Hélice Issue #3 "Propaganda".
(2020) Life Framer Editor's Pick 'Humans of the World'.
(2020) Photograd Feature & Interview.
(2020) The Pupil Sphere.
(2020) Offspring Photo Meet & Northern Narratives POSTCARDS FROM COVID.
(2020) Photography of China.
(2020) MINA Gallery & Cafe.
(2020) GUP New.
(2020) Float Photo Magazine.
(2020) Intern Magazine.
MA Photography Arts - University of Westminster London (Postgraduate Scholarship).
BA Photography (First-Class Honours) - Birmingham City University.
Global Photographies Network 2021 - Photobook Production & Publishing Programme - Ana Casas Broda / Hydra + Fotografia, Mexico City.
- Coventry University.
- Birmingham City University.
- Halesowen College.
- GRAIN Photo Café.
- BCN Bursary artist event by Multistory.
FOAM Talent 2022
Foam Magazine #61 Talent - 'Words From Dad'
The Unexposed by Canal180 - Garagem 180, Porto, Portugal | 25 March - 25 April, 2022.
Palm* Photo Prize 2022 - 10 14 Gallery, London | 5 May - 5 June, 2022.
FRESH EYES 2021 - Powered by GUP Magazine, distributed by Artibooks.
Ikon for Artists at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham | 17 - 31 May 2021.
GUP New Dutch Photography Talent 2020 at Machinegebouw Westergas, Amsterdam | 6 - 8 December 2019.
Encourage book published by Canon and Postcart Edizioni as part of Visa Pour l'Image-Perpignan Festival 2020.
The Green Lens exhibition at the Midlands Arts Centre (MAC) Birmingham, UK | 1 September - 28 October 2018.