|Born||1965 (age 51–52)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||California Polytechnic State University, San Francisco Art Institute|
Chan studied architecture in Washington, D.C. in 1986. She graduated in 1989 from California Polytechnic State University with a Bachelor of Arts in architecture and a minor in English. She obtained her Master of Fine Arts in 1997 from the San Francisco Art Institute, where she received the Bronze Roller Award in Printmaking for Outstanding Artistic Achievement.
Inspired by Taoist philosophy, Chan's work explores "the impermanence of nature,"  "patterns and natural phenomena in the cosmic order, like growth and decay: things that are in the movement of evolving from or devolving toward nothingness."  Chan makes books, and since 1995 she has owned the publishing house Ch'An Press. She has served as artist in residence at Women's Studio Workshop (WSW) in Rosendale, New York. During her residence at WSW, she produced Cé (1998), a collection of handmade paper and ink that depicts “nature’s form, gestures, and movements as a written language." 
Chan has illustrated and designed for the Electric Power Research Institute and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. She serves as associate professor in the fine arts department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She lives in Washington, D.C. She finds inspiration in Chinese philosophy and nature.
Chan has been awarded honors from the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council, and others. She has exhibited her work at venues and organizations such as the Islington Arts and Media School, San Francisco Arts Commission, A.I.R. Gallery, the University of Delaware, and the Legion of Honor. Her work is held in the collection of the Archives of American Art, Columbia University, Indiana University, British Library, Tate Modern, Walker Art Center, and more.
- Kara Kelly Hallmark (2007). Encyclopedia of Asian American Artists. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-313-33451-1. Retrieved 3 December 2012. Cite error: Invalid
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- "Meet the artists-in-residence". Showcase on the Arts. Williamsport Sun-Gazette. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
- "Irene Chan". Collections. Walker Art Center. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
- Chan, Irene - Profile - artasiamerica - A Digital Archive for Asian / Asian American Contemporary Art History
- "Professor Irene Chan umbc.edu". Retrieved Apr 26, 2017.