Carrie Chen's "Eye Exercise 眼保健操" is a series of animated portraits that feature the artist's younger self-avatar performing exaggerated eye-rolling. Each figure is set against a humorous backdrop, framed by scrolling text about the importance of vision. Drawing inspiration from the widespread practice of daily eye exercises in mainland Chinese elementary school classrooms, the series title alludes to the subtle ways in which conformity and control are woven into routine behavior. By playfully exploring the act of eye-rolling as both compliance and defiance, Chen's work encourages viewers to examine the phenomenon of societal norms and mass initiatives that shape our actions. Each artwork in the series is rich with detail, subtly weaving in elements that reflect Chen's Chinese American identity and nuanced complexities of cultural hybridity and memory.
About Carrie Chen
Carrie Chen is an artist and educator based in Los Angeles. Working with CG animation, simulation technologies and multimedia installation, she explores how digital figuration can be a poetic and multidimensional way to process and express ideas about cultural hybridity, representation, time and memory.
Growing up between the US and China, Chen's practice draws on non-Western ontologies and narratives while also deconstructing and reconfiguring her Chinese-American identity, experience and ancestry. With a transdisciplinary approach informed by Applied Psychology and Art History, Chen is interested in what she calls the “productive uncanny” and engages with the complexities of social behavior, digital bodies, culture and technology.
Chen currently teaches Visual Communication and Motion Design as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at USC’s Media Arts + Practice program and is a lecturer at the Design and Technology department at Parsons School of Design. She has exhibited internationally at STRP Festival, Vellum LA, Protocol Labs, West Hollywood's Moving Image Media Art Program and Epoch Gallery. She holds an MFA of Design Media Arts from UCLA, and a Bachelor of Science double majoring in Applied Psychology and Art History from NYU. She is also Creative Director at LA-based Spectra Studio.