Jennifer Chan (artist)

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Jennifer Chan is a Canadian media artist, curator, and programmer based in Toronto, Ontario. She is best known for her work that addresses how gender and race manifest in the fields of digital and online art, using amateur aesthetics inspired by pop culture, YouTube mashups, and millennial experience.[1][2] Her recent work focuses on the representation of masculinity[3] and constructions of gender and race.[4][5] She explores mediated tensions ranging from the mundane on one end of the spectrum, and provocation or controversy on the other, using video, object assemblage, websites, sound, and prints.[6][7][8]

Chan's solo exhibitions include The Blue Pill at Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba (Canada), Young Money at Future Gallery (Berlin), I'll Show You HD at transmediale (Berlin), Sea of Men at Galleri CC (Malmo), and New Alpha at ohmydays (Singapore). Her work has been covered by publications including AQNB Magazine,[9] Canadian Art magazine,[10] Rhizome,[11] Furtherfield,[12] Hyperallergic,[13] and Art Fag City.[14]


Chan was born in Canada but grew up in Hong Kong before returning to Canada. She completed a HBA in Communications, Culture, Information Technology at the University of Toronto Mississauga, graduating in 2010. She also earned a Diploma in Studio Art and Digital Communication from Sheridan College in 2010. She then attended Syracuse University, attaining a MFA in Art Video in 2013.[4]

Notable works[edit]

Chan's 2011 essay Why Are There No Great Women Net Artists? (a play on Linda Nochlin's 1971 essay "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?") is an attempt to write women into the history of new media art.[1][15]

Chan co-organized the online exhibition Body Anxiety with Leah Schrager, as a challenge to male-dominated digital and online art spaces.[2]

In 2012, Chan was the "Canadian Spotlight" artist at Toronto's Images Festival where she exhibited a retrospective of single channel works, including her video "Screensaver" in which she eviscerates a pile of MacBooks with carving knives.[16] Her piece from the same year, "Young Money", which features white college boys surfing the internet and an anonymous man ejaculating on net artist Sterling Crispin's "Pizza Shirt".[17]

In 2013, she was invited to contribute a sequence to The One Minutes (commissioned by the Sandberg Institute) as part of Ways of Something, a net artists' remake of John Berger's Ways Of Seeing compiled by Lorna Mills.[citation needed] The video has screened at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), Fabrica (UK), MenShing Museum (Beijing), in Wooloomooloo (Taipei), and SongEun Art Space (South Korea),[citation needed] and was subsequently collected by the Whitney Museum of American Art.[18]

In October 2018, Chan was included in the touring exhibition Computer Grrrls, curated by Inke Arns and Marie Lechner, opening at the HMKV museum in Dortmund, Germany, before being scheduled to tour to La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris and MU in Eindhoven in 2019.[19]


In 2015 Chan took part in the group exhibition Paste, organized by Seize projects where she debuted her website White Or Not Quite? along with a public poster exhibited across Leeds city centre.[20] She participated in ArtSlant's email newsletter project with Mindfulness Matters in which she invited the reader to answer the questions "Are You Living The Life You Always Wanted?", "Do you fall asleep fulfilled with everything you've done?", and "Spending time on your family?"[21]

In 2017 she was commissioned by IOTA to create the new work "Important Men", in which the artist creates "her own oeuvre of male portraiture by photographing the important masculine influences in her life."[22]

In 2018 Chan was commissioned to create UX for Cats, a collaborative work made with Cat Bluemke, Jonathan Carroll, and Ben McCarthy for the 10th anniversary of Montreal-based gallery Eastern Bloc.[23]

Solo exhibitions[edit]

  • 2012, "I'LL SHOW U HD" transmediale, Marshall McLuhan Salon, Canadian Embassy, Berlin[24]
  • 2012, "Young Money" Future Gallery, Berlin[25]
  • 2015, "Sea Of Men", Galleri CC Malmö[3]
  • 2016 "Screening: Jennifer Chan", Western Front[26]
  • 2017 "The Blue Pill", Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba[27]


  1. ^ a b "Why Are There No Great Women Net Artists?" (pdf).
  2. ^ a b Fateman, Johanna (April 2015). "Women on the Verge: Art, Feminism, and Social Media". Artforum International. 53. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b Antaya, Christine. "The Internet is a Sea of Men". Kunstkritikk. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  4. ^ a b Hirsch, Ann. "Artist Profile: Jennifer Chan". Rhizome. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  5. ^ Noice, Lauren MacKenzie. "WACKing the Piñata @ ltd los angeles reviewed". aqnb. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Radically mundane: confronting subjugation + exploitation while simulating 'diversity' + 'equality' in Jennifer Chan's The Blue Pill". aqnb. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Conundrum Clinique: Works by Toronto Artists Directed by Ananya Ohri, Janis Cole and Holly Dale, Susan Britton, Robin Collyer, Bridget Moser, Jennifer Chan, Oliver Husain and Tobias Williams". Exclaim!. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  8. ^ Peckham, Robin (May 2013). "Hong Kong Next Level: Fetish and the Art of Branding". LEAP (20). Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  9. ^ "An interview with Jennifer Chan". atractivoquenobello. 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  10. ^ "6 Lessons from Net-Art Talent Jennifer Chan - Canadian Art". Canadian Art. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  11. ^ "Artist Profile: Jennifer Chan". Rhizome. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  12. ^ "Jennifer Chan Interview: Interpassivity & Internet Pop Culture - Furtherfield". Furtherfield. 2013-04-25. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  13. ^ "Best of 2015: Our Top 10 Works of Internet Art". Hyperallergic. 2015-12-30. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  14. ^ "Jennifer Chan, Hands Around the World". Art F City. 2014-06-03. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  15. ^ "Thinking Through "Untitled Project" | LLCU-498 (2014)". Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  16. ^ White, Murray. "Images Festival brings compelling experimental film and video to Toronto". Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  17. ^ "Becoming Camwhore, Becoming Pizza". Mute. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  18. ^ ""Ways Of Something At The Whitney" (Press Release)" (PDF). The One Minutes. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-04-04. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  19. ^ "Hartware MedienKunstVerein Dortmund – Ausstellung: Computer Grrrls". Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  20. ^ "PASTE - SEIZE Projects". SEIZE Projects. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  21. ^ "Mindfullness Matters by Jennifer Chan". ArtSlant. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  22. ^ "Important Men - IOTA". IOTA. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  23. ^ "UX for Cats | Eastern Bloc". Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  24. ^ "[[[ I'll Show You HD ]]] - transmediale Marshall McLuhan Salon 2013 | transmediale". Retrieved 2018-12-03.
  25. ^ "FUTURE GALLERY". Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  26. ^ "Jennifer Chan - Western Front". Retrieved 2018-02-19.
  27. ^ The Blue Pill. 28 Sept.–18 Nov. 2017, Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Brandon MB.