Returning to Shanghai in 1990 after ten years in the United States, Chen observes that women are badly dressed. He will devote a considerable energy to remedy it while reviving ancient traditions.
He paints groups of beauties who would have their place in a fashion show. He also became a filmmaker, created the Layefe brand first for elegant and affordable clothing and then also for interior design, piloted a model agency and died of overwork in 2005.
In his paintings graceful women let themselves be quietly admired in the manner of the Japanese geishas. A gathering around the tea table, 170 x 244 cm painted in 1996, was sold for RMB 150M including premium by China Guardian on December 19, 2017.
On May 26 in Hong Kong, Christie's sells as lot 30 a 190 x 208 cm oil on canvas painted in 1997, displaying four standing women with sophisticated and colorful long gowns. The artwork is titled Beauties on Promenade by reference to a poem by Du Fu of the Tang era that glorified the elegant fashion of his time with embroidered silk dresses and jade ornaments on heads.
SOLD for HK$ 83M including premium