Melissa Chen - An Urban Spirit Tale

Melissa Chen

Melissa Chen is a Teochew-American visual artist and arts administrator based in Philadelphia. Drawing inspiration from urban legends, horror aesthetics, and her own family history, she uses digital collage and animation to explore the interactions between the past and the future as they exist within a hyphenated identity. 

Melissa Chen - Is This A Map Or A Clock

Is this a map or a clock?

Is this a map or a clock?, 2017
Digital animation
1:19 min.

Utilizing found text and images taken from history textbooks and ESL workbooks, Is this a map or a clock? is a digital animation that chronicles the artist’s family history of migration- first from southern China to Southeast Asia and later from Southeast Asia to the United States as refugees- through a study of the relationship between space and time and, more specifically, of the interactions between nostalgia, expectation, and displacement.

Featured in Hurry Up and Wait

Melissa Chen - An Urban Spirit Tale

An Urban Spirit Tale

An Urban Spirit Tale, 2016

Using imagery inspired by traditional Chinese funerary rituals and the neon lights of Hong Kong, An Urban Spirit Tale depicts a descent into the haunted landscape of a modern city caught in a cycle of decay and resurrection.

Featured in New Asian Futurisms