Li-E Chen (a. V. a.) (b. in Chaozhou, China) moved to London in 1997. Her practice involves performance, visual and mixed-media arts, and uses silence, nothingness, and 'thinking postures' as principles for its creative process. She was influenced by artists such as Robert Wilson, Tehching Hsieh, John Cage, Merce Cunningham and Samuel Beckett, philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, and mathematician Kurt Godel. She creates performances, participatory events, and publications using propositional forms, inspired by Ludwig Wittgenstein, to explore the aesthetic of everyday life and art. She aims to create artworks that do not rely on narrative or representational meanings. In 2017-18, she conducted a One Year R&D: A Silent Opera on the Life and Art of Tehching Hsieh which she begun her early conceptualisation of a Taiwanese-New York based artist Tehching Hsieh’s six life durational work undertaken in 1978 - 1999, to a 'silent opera'. She collaborated with organisations and artists in the USA, Europe, and South America, held events at the Live Arts Development Agency, Southbank Centre and Tete-a-Tete Opera Festival. Her recent works 'Proposition For Self-Development 2020' (through the Arts Council England's Emergency Response fund) and 'Proposition For Self-Care 2021' both explore her artistic practice. In May 2021, she changed her name to a V a when her daughter turned 8 months old, and begun her new life and art making.
Her works aim to develop a new understandings of 'Nothingness' that did not reduce it to a lack or absence. Between 2009 - 2017, Chen was actively participated in Improbable Theatre’s Open Space and its 'Devoted and Disgruntled: 'What Are We Going To Do About Theatre And Performing Arts?' facilitated by Phelim McDermott, she created her own visual art practice and performance making using the principles of Open Space. These works included her three self-managed Arts Council England Awards for Cloud Clock Love (2011-12), n-1 (2015-17) and One-Year R&D project: A Silent Opera on the Life and Art of Tehching Hsieh (2017-2018). Other earliest works include, ‘Invisible/Visible’ (2003), ‘A performance of 0, 0, 0, n+1, n+1, etc.’ (2009), ‘I am your anti-matter’ (2011), 'Nothing Political' (2011), ‘24 Hours in dreams’ (2012) and ‘I declared, I am invisible now’ (2012). Her recent art publication, 'n-1 Performance Life' was presented at the 'Universal Language' at Southbank Centre's Literature Festival 2017, and as part of the collection of the National Poetry Library Collection at the Southbank Centre.
She received Distinctions for her BA Theatre Practice - Alternative Theatre at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 2004, and her MA Media Arts and Philosophy at the University of Greenwich in 2007, London. Previously she worked and trained at the National Theatre's Art of Regeneration Programme supported by National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) in 2004-07, and worked as a digital designer and animator for theatre and opera productions in 2004-08. She also trained and worked in Pharmaceutical in 2009-14. She received her trainings and residency programmes provided by the Battersea Arts Centre, National Theatre, Young Vic, Royal Opera House, Improbable Theatre and Live Art Development Agency (London), and Centre for Chinese Contemporary Arts (Manchester). She was a member of ]Performance Space[ (UK), and Contemporary Political Theory Research Group at Royal Holloway, University of London.