Still Life Analysis is part of Chen’s on-site project during his residency at Bamboo Curtain Studio (Mar-May, 2014). The concept for the exhibition came from the artist’s ongoing curiosity in “garbage-like” objects. “I have always been interested in garbage,” Chen mentioned in his artist statement, “I always pay attention to objects left on the street- things once used but cast away at the end. What is being thrown out? And why is it left on the street?” He looks for trash on the street everyday, investigating, documenting, and reflecting on all sorts of “garbage still lives” left outside. Still Life Analysis is merely the tip of an iceberg from the accumulation of Chen’s documentation everyday.
Chen believes that these garbage still lives are readymade sculptures of societal development. Through documenting and presenting these objects, Chen attempts to organize the relationships between culture, land, and collective memories within Taiwanese society. In addition to the “ordinary” garbage we see everyday, the exhibition includes still lives that appear to be garbage but are not, as well as still lives that are even more extraneous and useless than garbage. The meaning of garbage is reexamined this way.