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Bodily Identity: The Art of Sidi Chen

A mixed media artwork made on reclaimed paperCrossing The Fields To Find Seeds Of Snow (detail), ink on reclaimed cardboard

Sidi Chen is an artist from China who has travelled around the world, and who currently lives and works in British Columbia. In his artistic practice, Sidi takes a conceptual, abstracted approach to themes of bodily identity in different environments. 

A photo looking out across the water of a lakeThe Moment To Come, digital photography


There’s a certain sense of quiet, almost solemnity to Sidi’s artworks. The artist’s approach varies widely in terms of media, with Sidi using embroidery, print techniques, traditional drawing, and self-photography to capture settings that are at times immediate and at times heavily abstracted. I really like the way the artist combines abstract drawing with photography in many of his series, presenting a narrative that feels deeply personal and yet relatable on a fundamental level. 

The front page of Sidi Chen's art portfolio


In his drawings, Sidi often works on reclaimed paper, embracing the imperfect, warm brown tones of that raw material as a backdrop for striking black and white mark-making and the occasional intervention of other mixed media. The resulting works feel unified in style, like continued explorations toward a common theme.

A photo printed on canvas and embroideredNight -- Domestic Disguise Of The Foreign Tongue, embroidery on printed canvas

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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