Temporal Portrait 时间肖像

Simultaneously a group portrait and a self-portrait, Temporal Portrait 时间肖像 imagines the moment when transgenerational versions of the artist's 3D selves gather in spacetime. Utilizing a workflow that synthesizes family archives, artificial intelligence, digital avatars, and motion capture technology, the artist performs her aged selves through digital avatars that exist in alternate timelines and imagined histories. 

Chen began by using GAN-powered AI algorithms to generate aged versions of myself from now until 80 years old. These AI-generated outputs were then synthesized with family photos of herself as a child, as well as archival images of her mother, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers, to create the final base portraits. These portraits were then carefully mapped onto custom avatars using 3D software. She used motion capture technology to perform the movements of each figure. Facial motion capture was used to simulate nuanced expressions, bringing each avatar to life. Projected at lifesize-scale, the figures correspond to the artist’s actual height.

An endlessly looping 3D simulation, their collective presence meditates on nonlinear concepts of time and the artist's existence as a Chinese American woman, celebrating resiliency and life. Together, the 24 female figures occupy a long stretch of space. They breathe, blink, and hold their gaze with the viewer as a confrontational gesture responding to the marginalization of women and as a subversive stance on the male-dominated genre of group portraiture. The group portrait condenses notions of tradition, lineage, age, and beauty into a monumental installation that is both rooted in the past and extending into the future.

Next-GEN LA: Artists to Watch, Vellum LA

UNPROTECTED, Epoch Gallery

Poetic Realities, New Wight Gallery

Select Exhibitions: New Wight Gallery (USA), Epoch Gallery, Vellum LA (USA).

Special thanks to: Jennifer Steinkamp, Casey Reas, Peter Lunenfeld, Lauren McCarthy, Ingram Mao, Ivana Dama, Harvey Moon, Gareth Walsh.

Documentation: H. Leslie Foster II, Kelsey Hart.