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Sijia Chen is a multi-disciplinary visual artist concentrating in paper-based work,  public art, and installation. She has shown her work in solo exhibitions at Canton Art Center, China; Art Museum of Shantou University, China; South Bay Contemporary, California.; Zhou B Art Center, Michigan. Temple Contemporary, Pennsylvania; and group exhibitions in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Mexico, Japan, Taiwan, US, and China. Various institutions, including the Victoria&Albert Museum, UK ; the Inside Out Museum, China; Guangdong Art Museum,  China; Shantou University, China; and Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, China; have included Chen’s work in their permanent collections. She received her MFA from Tyler School of Art and her BFA from Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts. She resides and operates her principal studio in Los Angeles, California.

“I’m from a small city called Shantou in south east China.  Like Portsmouth, Shantou started as a fishing village, and later grew and became a vibrant city through commerce and trade.  As I was researching for my proposal, I was amazed by how many qualities Portsmouth and Shantou have in common, and this shared rich and historical maritime culture is what inspired me to create Endeavor. Through this project, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on my own personal journey, from Shantou, to Guangzhou, to Philadelphia, and now here in Los Angeles, and to go back to where it all started.  


For this piece, I envisioned two sails, lifted by the wind and engaged in a delicate balance.  On each sail, I incorporated papercut inspired cutouts. Papercut as an art form dates back to the 4th century and is practiced in many cultures. It is part of my heritage, and an essential element in my art. Developing the papercut final design will be through a community engagement program with the people of Portsmouth. In the coming weeks, both in person in Portsmouth and virtually, we will be hosting speaking events and guided workshops, in partnership with PNH400 and other community organizations.  Portsmouth residents will have the opportunity to share your perspectives and experiences about your city, and to create your own papercut designs.   Your responses and creations will then be combined into a composition for the papercut final design. Endeavor is more than just my artistic work, it will be the culmination of a community movement driven by all of you.  I truly believe that will be enduring legacy of this project, and our contribution to the creative arts. ”

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