Jao Chia-En received his bachelor's degree in fine arts from the Taipei National University of the Arts (2000), before he graduated from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts in Paris (2004). Jao studied at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he received his master's degree in fine arts (2007), and attended a residency program in Paris in 2007.
Jao’s project-based practice stretches across different mediums, including drawing, performance, site-specific installation, and multichannel video installation. His international experience informs his perspective on the particular conditions of Taiwan’s political, economical, and social situation. His practice — deeply rooted in his local surroundings — has more recently delved into colonial histories and the cross-cultural tensions in the Asia Pacific region. His anthropological and collaborative approach has led him to work with civilian protestors, taxi drivers, and immigrant workers from Southeast Asian countries. For Jao, these personal encounters have generated intriguing and valuable interpretations of history that subtly subvert and question the established, official versions produced by the nation-state and media.
In 2016, Jao was commissioned to make works that entered Guggenheim’s collection as part of the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative. He was part of the exhibition Tales of Our Time (2016-2017) at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. In the recent decade, Jao has exhibited at international prominent institutions, including Parasite, Hong Kong (2016); Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany (2015); National Museum of Art , Osaka, Japan (2013); QAGOMA, Brisbane, Australia; MOCA Shanghai, Shanghai, China; Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan (2012); Museo di Arte Contemporanea di Villa Croce, Genova, Italy (2011); and Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary (2010). The artist has also participated in notable exhibitions including, the 7th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Shanghai Biennale (2012), and Taipei Biennial (2012, 2010).