Distinguished Chinese Graphic Designer is Honor Laureate for Colorado International Invitational Poster Exhibition

Note to Editors: Selected print-quality images of posters in the 15th Colorado International Invitational Poster Exhibition are available for media use only. Contact Nik Olsen at (970) 491-7766 or Jeanna Nixon at (970) 491-1584 for images. Downloadable, print quality images of all posters from the exhibition as well as selected posters by Honor Laureate Fang Chen will be available at http://welcome.colostate.edu/index.asp?url=07_poster_show by June 1.

Award-winning graphic designer and art Professor Fang Chen has been selected as the honor laureate for the 15th biennial Colorado International Invitational Poster Exhibition at Colorado State University for his lifetime record of excelling in the poster medium.

Chen, currently an associate professor in the Department of Integrative Arts at Pennsylvania State University, was born in China and received degrees from the Hubei Academy of Fine Arts and Hubei Institute of Technology in Wuhan, China. Chen has been the recipient of numerous awards and has served as a juror at design competitions throughout the world.

Chen’s work is included in several permanent collections including the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, the Museum of Modern Art in Toyama and the Musee des Beaux-Arts de Mon. A prolific writer as well as designer, Chen is author of several critical essays for design publications and exhibitions in China. Chen’s award-winning series, "We Are One," is an innovative take on the poster that includes an extended series of linked images addressing nationalism, racism and environmental sustainability.

Chen is not a commercial designer – he sees himself as a philosopher and a teacher. He engages in graphic design and uses the poster medium as a "philosophical pursuit," a way to share his ideas with the world and to teach his students.

"Posters are a wonderful media for graphic designers as a platform to share ideas," Chen said, adding that the most important element in design is developing a good concept and communicating it effectively. When it comes to teaching, Chen believes that students cannot learn from textbooks alone, and he uses his own posters to fully connect his students to the study of typography and image design.

Chen’s designs often draw upon Chinese culture and conventions, with powerful black and white images reflecting traditional Chinese brush and ink work and the belief in the stark opposition of yin and yang. With his use of illusion, symbolism and contrast, he has developed engaging and fascinating posters in a universal language to which people all over the world can relate and understand. By using images that translate across social divisions, Chen seeks to break down cultural barriers with his innovative posters.

During the 15th Colorado International Invitational Poster Exhibition, Chen’s work will be displayed in a satellite exhibition from Sept. 14 to Oct. 29 at the Lincoln Center at 417 W. Magnolia St. in Fort Collins. The exhibition includes works spanning Chen’s more than 10-year career as a graphic designer and poster artist. An opening reception from 5-7 p.m. Sept. 13 will include a presentation by Chen. He will discuss his own artistic development as well as show and discuss posters created by his students who have won awards and received accolades for their outstanding work under his direction.

Chen said he is pleased to be selected as the honor laureate. In this role, he will serve as a juror for the exhibition and will also do in-depth work with Colorado State graphic design students prior to the exhibition opening.

"The Colorado International Invitational Poster Exhibition is a very important and unique show with a good reputation, and I am honored with my selection as laureate," Chen said.

The 15th-biennial Colorado International Invitational Poster Exhibition, the only international poster presentation organized in the United States, runs from Sept. 14-Oct. 19 and is hosted by the Department of Art in the School of the Arts at Colorado State University. It features works by 87 artists from 31 countries reflecting international perspectives on political, social and cultural issues. With this biennial exhibition, Colorado State University’s Department of Art exhibits and interprets poster design, brings outstanding examples of visual communication to an American audience and promotes international understanding, tolerance and dialogue through the graphic arts.

Posters from the international exhibition’s invited artists will fill the Clara Hatton Gallery in the Visual Arts building and the Curfman Gallery in the Lory Student Center on the main campus of Colorado State. Satellite displays, featuring specific historical and geographic subjects, will be hosted at the Lincoln Center, Front Range Community College, First National Bank Gallery at Colorado State’s Morgan Library, in Colorado State’s University Center for the Arts, and the Directions and Glass galleries in the Visual Arts Building.

The 15th poster exhibition was made possible, in part, through a grant from the Lilla B. Morgan Memorial Fund, which was established to enhance the cultural development and atmosphere of Colorado State. Other supporters include Fort Fund, with in-kind support from Citizen Printing and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle.


The School of the Arts at Colorado State University provides an enriched venue in which the study and practice of art, dance, music and theater are nurtured and sustained by building the skills and knowledge needed by future generations of arts professionals to become contributors to the essential vitality of our culture and society. For more information, visit www.CSUSchooloftheArts.com.