Collecting Dr. T.F. Chen’s Art
— Lawrence Jeppson, former Art Consultant for the Smithsonian Institute
Dr. Chen with his Salute to de Coubertin,
in homage to the Father of Modern Olympics.
“Overall, Dr. Chen is one of the must-collect artists for the real art collector and connoisseur”
A) An Overview
Dr. T.F. Chen is a Master Artist who has dedicated his entire life to artistic creation. He is also a brilliant academic and renowned humanitarian who lectures and exhibits worldwide. Born in Taiwan, educated in Paris, and with headquarters in SoHo NYC and Beijing, Dr. Chen is a world citizen who has established his own art theory, signature style and place in art history. At the distinguished age of 74, Dr. Chen is enjoying a surge of mastery, brilliance and productivity as all the countless seeds he’s sown in the last half-century are coming to bear fruit.
B) About the Artist
At an early age, Dr. T.F. Chen began to study painting at a private artist studio in Taiwan. When he was fourteen years old, he came across a book of Vincent Van Gogh’s art and wept, deciding at that moment to dedicate his life to art. After graduating at the top of his class, Chen was exempted from the national admissions test and accepted by the renowned National Taiwan University where he studied English literature. Later on, Chen earned a scholarship from the French Government and spent 12 years in Paris, where he became the first Asian to obtain a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Paris (La Sorbonne), as well as an M.A. in French Contemporary Literature. At the same time, he studied painting at the world-prestigious L’École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts in Paris.
In 1969, Dr. Chen established his “Five-Dimensional Universal Culture” in theory and initiated his “Neo-Iconography” art style. He was considered one of the pioneers of Post-Modern Art in the 1970’s and has also been recognized as “one of the 20 most influential artists in the world today” (Dr. Thomas McEvilley, art critic). Since then, Dr. Chen has created thousands of art works in his signature style, conducted more than 200 one-man shows, and published 22 books on his art and philosophy. His artworks have been featured in more than 300 textbooks, magazines, newspapers and other media worldwide (such as in the widely-used, university-level art history textbook Arts & Ideas.
In 1980, Dr. Chen gave a lecture on his “Five-Dimensional Universal Culture” theory at the International Science Conference. In 1998 and 2000, Dr. Chen held the honor of being the only artist to present his thesis and exhibit his artworks at the State of the World Forum. In 2001, the Friends of the United Nations honored Dr. Chen with the “Global Tolerance Award,” appointed him a Cultural Ambassador of Tolerance and Peace and invited him to organize the “Arts for Humanity World Tour” to advance art education and a Global Culture of Peace.
Dr. Chen’s masterpieces have been collected widely, both publicly and privately. For example, his works are in the collections of the White House (from the periods of President Carter and President Reagan to President Clinton), the Museum of Modern Art (Paris), the Smithsonian Institute, Taipei Fine Art Museum, the Presidential Palace (Taiwan), etc. Many great world leaders, business leaders, diplomats, and Olympic athletes have also admired and collected his work, such as Mikhail Gorbachev, David Wolper (Warner Bros. producer), Oscar Goodman (Mayor of Las Vegas), Anita Roddick (President of The Body Shop), Merrill Lynch, Citibank, etc.
Generally, Dr. Chen’s works have mostly been in the possession of American and European collectors. As the Arts for Humanity World Tour travels to Asia, it is a wonderful opportunity now for the Asian Art community to take advantage as well.
C) Dr. T.F. Chen’s Contributions to Humanity
Dr. T.F. Chen has been the advocate of a Global New Renaissance in Love and of East-West cultural exchange since the 1960’s. Besides exhibiting and lecturing ceaselessly, Dr. Chen has also been very prolific in academic publications on these theories. His book 21st Century, Taiwan and his 600 page doctoral thesis “Chinese Calligraphy and Modern Art“ in French (Chinese translation also completed).
In 1996, Dr. Chen co-founded the New World Art Center and the T.F. Chen Cultural Center (non-profit organization) in SoHo, NYC – which sponsors and conducts artistic, educational and multicultural exchange events. In 2005, in partnership with the Friends of the United Nations, Dr. Chen then founded the Art for Humanity Foundation to sponsor and organize the “Arts for Humanity World Tour 2005-2010” to further advance his vision of a Global Culture of Peace through the arts.
Now in his 70s, Dr. Chen has dedicated over half a century towards the use of art not just for art’s sake, but rather – “art for humanity’s sake.” His vision of a harmonious humanity flowering in the arts has always been his motivation and inspiration to sail on in his life’s journey.
D) Dr. T.F. Chen’s Place in Art History
Dr. T.F. Chen is a master artist who has already been featured in the narrative of art history. He is considered one of the pioneers of Post-Modern Art in the 1970’s and has also been recognized as “one of the 20 most influential artists in the world today” (Dr. Thomas McEvilley, art critic).
Besides being an unparalleled fine artist, Dr. Chen is also an academic with a Ph.D in Art History from La Sorbonne, a humanitarian with a Global Tolerance Award from the Friends of the United Nations, and a prolific writer who has published 22 books on his art and cultural theories. Because of his achievements and innovation, Dr. Chen and his art have been featured in more than 300 text books in more than 30 countries, including the widely–used, university-level art history textbook Arts & Ideas, published by Harcourt Brace. Alongside 12 other renowned living world artists (whose works all boast astronomical market prices), Dr. Chen is the only living artist featured in the “Globalism” section (p. 685-687).
In New York Magazine (1986 May issue), Dr. Chen’s work was featured alongside Andy Warhol’s famous silkscreen Golden Marilyn (worth USD 13.5 million), as well as other famous contemporary artists such as Robert Rauschenberg. Dr. Jan Hulsker, the world-renowned expert on Vincent van Gogh, called Dr. Chen “the Reborn Van Gogh!” when he viewed Chen’s “Post – Van Gogh Series” that he had created in celebration of the Van Gogh Centennial.
Thus, Dr. Chen’s powerful artworks are not only executed with precision and passion, fine aesthetics and wit, but also possess fundamental, cultural and historical value. Unlike many artists who depend on shock value or passing fads, Dr. Chen’s style is sourced from a deep theoretical philosophy based on love and concern for our human family, and backed by the maturity of over a half-century of deep study, thought, and cultivation.
All of his artworks possess a humanistic concern and express an ideal vision for our upcoming age. Thus, Dr. Chen invites artists to take a wider role in history, as well as in our future, not just concentrating on “art for art’s sake,” but instead evolving into an “art for humanity’s sake.”
The Chens with former President and First Lady of Costa Rica.
Lucia and Dr. Chen with Senator Richard Lugar, Chairman of Foreign Relations Committee.
Dr. Steven Rockfeller – the initiator of “Earth Charter” — with Lucia and T.F. Chen.
E) Regarding the Art Market
As a distinguished scholar and renowned humanitarian, Dr. T.F. Chen has spent the last half-century constantly and fully immersed in artistic creation and philosophical exploration. Rather than catering to the whims or fads of the commercial art market (which is often fraught with artifice, publicity stunts, market manipulation and the such), Dr. T.F. Chen has always preferred to focus instead on the quality and depth of his work and message. That is why he has a place in art history, for example, among 12 other renowned living world artists, Dr. Chen is the only living Asian artist incorporated in the university-level art history textbook Art & Ideas. The works by the other featured living artists, alongside Dr. Chen, all boast an astronomical market price. Yet few living artists have earned such a scale of international achievement and recognition in both the art world and academia as that of Dr. Chen.
Lawrence. Jeppson, a respected senior art investment advisor to the Smithsonian Institute, remarked, “There is only one Van Gogh, one Picasso and one Tsing-Fang Chen in this world!” Many art experts believe that Dr. Chen’s art not only offers aesthetic beauty, spiritual enlightenment and multicultural significance, but it also has huge market potential for savvy art investors. The market price for his works is expected to rise easily and exponentially in value as time goes on, especially since he is currently in his late 70’s with over a half-century dedicated to art creation.
For many decades, the Western art market did not notice Chinese artists. During this time, Dr. Chen and his art agent (The New World Art Center) focused mainly on advancing public understanding and appreciation of his “Five-Dimensional World Culture” theory and his Neo-Iconography art through educational programs and events. The New World Art Center seeks to conserve a vast majority of Dr. Chen’s works for research studies and future acquisition by art museums, thus his artworks have been considerably underpriced and under-the-radar in the commercial art world.
All of that is changing now. Historically, the art market has been under the command of the western world (especially the Jewish community), however, in recent years, the Asian contemporary art market and Asian artists are now emerging as a strong force. Many contemporary artists are now auctioning at very high prices, especially Chinese contemporary artists (such as at $10 million USD).
As Dr. Chen gains more and more recognition as a master artist with high academic, cultural, and humanitarian achievements, as well as a place in art history, it is inevitable that Dr. Chen’s artworks will fetch these kinds of prices in value as well.
Dr. Chen giving a tour of his work to a group from the leadership of the major corporation, BHP Billiton
T F Chen Art for Humanity World tour project show at world museum Beijing
T F Chen’s Olympic Art work showing at National Indoor Stadium