Born in Shanghai and educated in Shanghai and Paris, Chen suffered from autoimmune hemolytic anemia and died at age 45. He was the brother of Chen Zhu, a vice chairman of the National People's Congress of China.
Although his career was cut short by disease, Chen had achieved international fame by the time he died. His mature work, created in the last decade of his life, explored "synergy" between different cultural and political environments. He is also known for using furniture and antique Chinese materials in his constructions. His large-scale works, exploring the topics of health and homeland, were well received globally. He held more than 30 solo shows in Europe, Asia, and America. After his death, memorial exhibitions were held at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston,MoMA PS1 in New York City, as well as in Greece and Italy.
Despite his fame abroad, as of 2015 there have been only two solo exhibitions of his works in his native Shanghai. The first was held at the Shanghai Art Museum in 2006, and the second at the Rockbund Art Museum (2015). The latter was curated by Hou Hanru, artistic director of the MAXXI in Rome.Wikipedia