Since 2000, Chen has moved away from his figurative works of the 1990s to landscape pictures and objects of everyday urban life. In sharp contrast to elaborate architectural masterpieces, Chen has chosen to depict prac- tical, anonymous structures such as passages, tunnels and bridges. In this painting, Chen depicts a thoroughfare from the highway to the airport, which passes through Siyuanqiao, an area notorious for its countless ga- rages and counterfeit spare parts stores. Chen’s typical smooth technique, the absence of brush marks and cool atmosphere reflect the facelessness of new urbanism in China. It represents a comment on the artificiality and anonymity of the metropolis and forced modernism. The unnatural reflec- tions of light hint at the artificiality all around us. The monochromatic pa- lette across a vast canvas leaves the viewer with a strong sense of des- pondency and isolation.

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