Xiaowen Chen was born in Dalian China. After high school, he spent two and a half years in the Inner Mongolian desert before he went to Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts where he studied printmaking, drawing and painting. He moved to the United States in 1987 and received his MFA from Illinois State University. Since 1996 he has taught Print Media at Alfred University, and in addition to his studio practice has become more involved with a number of other professional activities, including writing, organizing exhibitions, making video documentary for television, and establishing scholarships for students to study in China. He works with many mediums such as painting, drawing, printmaking, digital processing, as well as video installation. His works have been featured in many university galleries and museums including the China National Museum of Art in Beijing, Indiana Museum of Art and Science in Evanston, Albright-Knox Museum in Buffalo, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art in Ithaca, Brooklyn Museum in Brooklyn, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in Santa Barbara.