We are set to open our eighth art inspired hotel this November. Named after and inspired by Chinese Australian artist Zhong Chen, The Chen will be centre stage to Whitehorse Towers, the tallest and most dynamic development outside of the Melbourne CBD, in the thriving suburb of Box Hill. The hotel will reflect and celebrate the ethnic diversity of the area, with Chen’s vibrant works celebrating his transcultural identity.
Chen made the move from China to Australia in 1989 at the age of 19. His bold art marries Western expressions with Chinese traditions in a loose and fun way using large colourful brushstrokes to create a flamboyant yet relaxed tone. He explores his mixed heritage portraying childhood memories and Chinese pop culture as his inspiration.
The newest Art Series Hotel, The Chen takes its design cues from Chen’s Kung Fu series, with a combination of originals and digital archival fine art editions featuring throughout the hotel. Chen’s notable artwork The Rooster will feature in the hotel, which is a particularly auspicious and lucky piece given Chen was born in the year of the Rooster (1969) and the hotel will open in the year of the Rooster (2017).
Zhong Chen says; “I have lived and worked in Box Hill for nearly a decade. I am passionate about my community and its emergence as a cultural powerhouse outside of Melbourne. To have a hotel of such significance, opening in the year of my birth sign is a true honour. I look forward to meeting guests and seeing how they interact with the hotel and my artworks. It is sure to be a surreal experience.”
Architects Peddle Thorp, will bring Chen’s work to life through a bold and vibrant design that pays homage to the gentle humour that pervades Chen’s work, setting a relaxed tone for the hotel. With 100 hotel rooms residing across five floors, the hotel will also feature a rooftop pool, gym, meeting and events spaces, car park and four food and beverage outlets including Melbourne’s best Yum Cha.
Will Deague, CEO, Art Series Hotel Group Says;
“Whitehorse Towers has been one of our company’s greatest projects yet. We are essentially creating a micro city and cultural hub in what is an emerging suburb of Melbourne. To have an Art Series Hotel as part of the Whitehorse Towers development reflects the dynamism of the area and pays tribute to the cultural diversity Zhong Chen has been a part of and has documented for many years. We look forward to playing an important role in the area for many years to come.”
The Chen will encapsulate all of the Art Series Hotel Group’s signature amenities including their renowned art tours, dedicated art channels, artist documentaries and art libraries. Art Series branded Smart Cars and Lekker bicycles will be available to explore the area and further afield.
About Zhong Chen
Zhong Chen celebrates the historical and contemporary issues of transcultural identity. He explores the feelings of belonging, social relationships and feeling connected and accepted within one's community.
His diverse styles based on the symbolism of ancient Chinese iconography and traditional Chinese illustration include his pixelated images, expressive landscapes and most recently his more vivid, stylised and cartoon-like paintings created using a calligraphy brush and drawing inspiration from traditional Chinese art and in particular the classic fourteenth century novel, Outlaws of the Marsh.
He was born in Zhongshan, China in 1969 and arrived in Australia at the age of 19. He completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts at the University of South Australia before being awarded the prestigious International Samstag Scholarship in 1998 to complete a Master of Fine Arts at the Chelsea College of Arts in London.
Zhong Chen was also awarded two Australian Council grants to participate in residencies in New York in 2001 and 2006. He is a three-time Finalist in the Archibald Prize, Australia’s most prestigious portraiture prize and a finalist in the Wynne Prize for landscape as well and The Doug Moran Portrait Prize and the Sulman Prize. In 2009 Zhong was awarded the People's Choice Award for the Portrait Salon Des Refuses Prize.
Zhong Chen is represented in numerous local and international collections including:
Art Gallery of South Australia
Gold Coast City Art Gallery
Western Mining, Australia
F.H.Faulding and Co. Adelaide
Also in private Collections in England, Japan, China, Singapore and Hong Kong
The Chen is due to open in November 2017. Rooms on sale soon.