Whilst walking around at the recent Roald Dahl celebrations in Cardiff – along with 80,000 others we took a short cut through one of the old Victorian arcade alleyways. There was all the usual unique and quirky joke shops, cheese makers, vintage clothing shops as well as some wonderful coffee aromas coming from a few nearby cafes.
But, all of a sudden, there on the corner of a junction between 2 arcades something literally popped out, something that immediately catches the eye and entices you in to explore some more. That something was Jian Chen and it was her work that triggered the “I need to find out more about this artist” response. So we popped in to say hello and find out who , why, how and what.
Originally from Chongqing China, when in 1999 China opened up , Jian decided to study English at Sichuan International Language University and later at Shanghai International Language University – becoming a qualified English/Chinese interpreter and translator.
Moved to the UK to focus on Accountancy and gained a BA in Finance and Accounting at Glamorgan University. After securing a position as a Finance Assistant for four years she lost her job due to restructuring, and started to question what it was in life she wanted to achieve. She choose to follow her dreams and make a business out of it.
The phone was placed on the counter set to record and then forgotten about. We love to find out the story behind the person and how they came to be where they are. So without a further thought to the children or the time I asked Jian about all the things that matter to her and how it inspires her work and business.
We have just walked into your lovely shop and love browsing around your work. As we do that – can you tell us a little bit about yourself.
Well my biography if you like can be summed up as follows :-
What I’ve done yesterday made me who I am today. What I’m doing now is the only thing matters.
I’m an artist, I live the moment and live the now. I do what I love and love what I’m doing.
I follow my passion and enjoy my life. Anything else will just take care of itself and fall into right place
So tell us a bit about you
My Chinese name is Jian Chen, English name Jenny, I’m based in Cardiff, UK
How would you describe your style of artwork ?
My style of artwork is a combination of traditional Chinese spontaneous abstract and western realism.
Do you have any formal training / education
I studied oil painting at ‘Sichuan Fine Arts University’, china
You wake up in the morning – where do you get your ideas from ?
When I’m in the zone, anything can inspire and trigger ideas in me, for example, seeing a flower, seeing a cat, a dog, watching a YouTube video …
We’re intrigued how do you decide what to paint
Dependent on how I feel at the time or what excites me, it’s mostly intuition
How long have you been painting ?
I started this self-taught watercolour style in July 2012
Is there any particular style you like – water colours, oil, pencil etc
I enjoy watercolour at the moment, I’ve also recently done a few acrylic paintings, I might explore to other mediums in future
Do you travel and if so do you exhibit your work anywhere ?
Only at my shop: I just want to focus on getting this and my gallery running smoothly as it’s my first year here. Lots of new products will be out and I’m making them all myself, there’s no time or personnel to organise exhibition anywhere else
Do you go to any shows ?
I don’t have much time to see any other shows, my own art keeps me too busy for the present
What is the strangest thing you have ever drawn and why ?
I don’t feel anything I create as strange, they are natural, normal and logical to me, although my images may appear strange to others
Thanks for taking the time today – Jian Chen details are as follows :-
My Shop Address
10-12, Duke Street Arcade, Cardiff, CF10 1AZ
Facebook: Jian Chen Watercolour paintings
©Jian Chen’s FINE ART, ALL rights reserved
Thank you Jian it has been a pleasure talking and a welcome break from all the crowds in Cardiff.