International Experiences Land Alum, Current Student in NYC Exhibitions

Posted November 2, 2017 in Student, Faculty, MFA Painting, Master of Fine Arts

After earning their respective fine art graduate degrees from one of Asia’s most prestigious universities in 2012, twin sisters Beibei and Leilei Chen came to Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) to continue pursuing professional success in the art world while engaging new audiences in the United States.    

Leilei, who graduated from KCAD’s MFA program in May of 2017, and Beibei, who will graduate from the MFA program this December, have certainly made their mark on the art world in West Michigan and beyond. Most recently, the sisters were featured in several exhibitions in New York City with their collaborative series “Gaia,” a visual commentary on humanity’s destructive environmental practices and mass consumption of natural resources.

MFA students Beibei and Leilei Chen with United Nations Senior Interpreter Feng Chen in New York CityBeibei Chen (left) and Leilei Chen (right) with United Nations Senior Interpreter Feng Chen at the United Nations headquarters in New York City (credit: Mei Lv) 

“Gaia” was first featured in a trio of exhibitions held in conjunction with Tsinghua Alumni Art Week. The event showcased the work of alumni from the Chen sisters’ first alma mater, Tsinghua University in Bejing, China, named one of the top four best universities in Asia for 2017 by US News & World Report.

Alumna Leilei and Beibei Chen speak to Chinese news media about their "Gaia" seriesThe Chen sisters speak to U.S.-based Chinese TV network SinoVision about their "Gaia" series (credit: Lan Zhang) 

The week began with an exhibition at the United Nations headquarters, followed by exhibitions at Artosino Gallery and Princeton University. Following the Tsinghua Alumni Art Week, the “Gaia” series was then featured in a group exhibition, Dawn, at the Chinese American Arts Council’s 456 Gallery.

During their time in the city, the sisters were interviewed by a number of media outlets, including Blacktie Magazine and Chinese stations PeaceEver TV and ICN. A number of collectors also expressed interest in their work.

Work from the Gaia series by Beibei and Leilei Chen(above and below): Work from the "Gaia" series by Beibei and Leilei Chen (images courtesy of the artists) 

Work from the Gaia series by Beibei and Leilei Chen

From there, it was back to Grand Rapids, where “Gaia” was displayed in the DeVos Place Convention Center during ArtPrize Nine. More information about the series can be found here.  

See more of Beibei and Leilei Chen’s work.

Learn more about KCAD’s MFA program