About Me

John Dewey (1859-1952)

believed in ‘Art and Experience’ and that aesthetic experience can be recognized in daily experience, from events and the environment. This is also what I believe.

Artistic Practice

Cheng Yen Yu, born in 1998 in Pingtung, Taiwan, currently based in London, UK, is a distinguished contemporary painter. Specializing in mixd media, watercolor, oil and acrylic drawings on linen, plaster, paper, Cheng Yen is best known for his evocative exploration of societal dynamics and his unique approach to materiality. His work captures the intricacies of human experience and has garnered attention globally.


Cheng Yen’s artistic journey is deeply rooted in themes of history, community relationships, life and death, and oriental theology and philosophy. His work is characterized by an insightful dissection of societal themes, exploring the collisions of individuals in diverse environmental contexts. Inspired during his travel in Cappadocia, Turkey, Cheng Yen was captivated by the mysterious local rocks and underground cities. Incorporating this geographic feature and history into his art, he employs visual symbols that metaphorically represent the complexities of individuals within society. The rocks, intricately carved into maze-like interior networks, windows, churches, and other human imprints, symbolize the transformative journey from “primitiveness” to gradual “socialization.”


The artist’ palette kept to raw natural colors infused with various artificial materials such as patching plaster, clay, cement concrete, sand, earth, brick, and nails. This deliberate use of “artificial” materials reinterprets the “original” rocks, fostering contradictory collisions between an individual’s inherent self and their societal relationships. Noteworthy projects include “The Chapter Series” (2019-2022), exploring the cycle of life and death, desire, oriental reincarnation, and funeral cultures inspired by Modest Mussorgsky’s piano suite “Pictures at an Exhibition.” Equally significant is “The Freezing Series” (2020-2021), delving into material attributes, memory, and sensory connections through immersive installations marked by the use of ready-made objects combined with materials like plant-based handmade paper, sewing, and embroidery.


Cheng Yen Yu’s impact is evident in his participation in prestigious exhibitions worldwide, including a Solo Exhibition titled “The Observer’s Eyes” at Kaohsiung Cultural Centre in Taiwan (2020), the National Art Exhibition ROC at The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts and Arts Center (2019/2018), and an exhibition at Art Curator Gallery in South Africa (2019). His works are not only admired in the Collection at Kaohsiung Cultural Centre, Taiwan, but also grace various private collections across the globe. Cheng Yen Yu stands as a visionary contemporary painter, weaving together history, symbolism, and profound narratives to create an immersive exploration of the human experience.