Hailing from the city of Putian, in the province of Fujian, Chen Yujun has long pondered the identity shifts that his ancestors experienced after they emigrated to 'Nanyang' (as Southeast Asia was once known to the Chinese) many years ago, and those shifts have served as the inspiration for many of his later works. A graduate of the China Academy of Art's Department of General Art, he is a skilled practitioner of painting, collage, installation, and other forms of multimedia. For Chen Yujun, the act of creation is like personal psychotherapy: it is an intimate form of self-expression, one through which the artist is able to construct dreamlike scenes from his own personal experiences and thoughts.
In 2008, the artist began using his own creations to examine Asia's position in the modern globalised era. It was with this historical issue in mind that he first undertook his Asian Territories series, which was intended as an exploration of Western cultural imperialism. In Asian Territories-5.2m? No.20090919 (Lot 106), the creation of an ostensible space is accomplished through the artist's use of precise compositional elements, including the size of the 5.2 square meter canvas, the date, and spatial dimensions indicated in the title of the work itself. The furniture and the three walls create an open space, and the rigid strictness of the pattern on the walls then acts in concert with the low-saturation, earth-toned palette to invest that space with a slight oppressive sense of order. Despite this, the rhythm of the stripes on the wall is overbearing, making the observer want to enter the space in order to disrupt it. Similarly, the Asian territory we inhabit is quietly sinking into a state of intangible, ubiquitous cultural colonisation, a state from which we are powerless to escape.