"Somewhere Else," a solo exhibit of Chen Tianqiutao at the University Art Gallery

Somewhere Else

Cal Poly University Art Gallery to exhibit Chen Tianqiutao

Feb. 2 - Mar. 10

ARTIST TALK - Feb. 2,  5 - 6 pm - Dexter 34 -148

Gallery Reception - Feb. 2, 6 - 7pm

Poster designed by Boyang Xia.

About the Show

The exhibition "Somewhere Else" comprises three bodies of work interrogating thematic concepts surrounding social and cultural issues and human feelings and relationships. In those works, some appropriated vernacular images address the views of death and life and how photography circulates in the digital sharing age. Some words from somewhere else explore human experiences and perceptions on mortality, destruction, and conflict, commenting on the aftermath of circulations of information and misinformation. Some photographs created through participatory experimentation reverse the discourse power in favor of emphasizing the insiders’ voice for social justice, showing the issues and complexity of rapid urbanism. somewhere else investigates the possibilities and borders of photographic language, presenting multidimensional storytelling as an impactful mental exploration and interpretation of our world.




About the Artist

Chen Tianqiutao is an artist and educator working in China and the United States. Chen earned a BFA in Photography from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and received an MFA in Photography and an MA in Art + Design Education from the Rhode Island School of Design. 

Chen's work draws on multiple aspects of photography and related fields. He employs traditional and innovative image-making methods, participatory documentary photography practice, artistic appropriation, and photo-textuality to interrogate thematic concepts surrounding social and cultural issues and human experiences, perceptions, and relationships. Chen’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including at the Center for Photography at Woodstock (Woodstock, NY), ClampArt (New York, NY), Figge Art Museum (Davenport, IA), Minneapolis College of Art and Design (Minneapolis, MN), CAFA Art Museum (Beijing, China), Minsheng Art Museums (Beijing, China), DongGang International Photo Festival (Yeongwol, South Korea), Taipei International Photo Festival (Taipei, Taiwan), and Copenhagen Photo Festival (Copenhagen, Denmark), among others. His photobook The Last Post has won the Lucie Photo Book Prize for the Independent Publishing Category and has been shortlisted for the Images Vevey Book Award. 

Before joining Cal Poly, Chen taught various photography and studio art foundation courses at Iowa State University, Montserrat College of Art, and the Rhode Island School of Design. For more information, please visit Chen's website at:


Posters designed by Boyang Xia.

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