Published June 20, 2024

Faculty Millie Chen's exhibition "Turbulence" at Riverbank Art Museum

May 11 - September 14, 2024

Alt text provided upon request to

Image credit: Millie Chen, Onguiaahra / Niagara River

Turbulence is caused by unsteady vortices, chaotic eddies and other flow instabilities.

Turbulent events are caused by unrest, disruption, conflict and resistance.

Millie Chen’s exhibition, Turbulence, contemplates the interrelationship of phenomenon, history, social justice and sorrow. The exhibition title is named after a new series of drawings; the first three works in the series will be exhibited at RiverBrink Art Museum, along with older (2015-2023) works on paper.

Chen crosses the Onguiaahra (Haudenosaunee) or Niagara River almost daily. The new series of drawings emerges from years of walking along both banks of the river and gazing in awe at its flow. These drawings focus on river sites that have historic and symbolic significance, embodied in the turbulence created by disturbances under the water surface.

All of the works in the exhibition are connected by the use of grids. Chen harnesses the grid as a structural and theoretical device for creating complex, contemplative images, tapping into it as a powerful generative mechanism that integrates singularities into an all-encompassing structure where everything is linked and empty space is matter. Chen uses the grid to both retain and release control, as a means to embrace unpredictability and “errors” and to express the wobbliness of being human. These incursions into uniformity and regulation amplify the grid’s enigmatic qualities, inviting chance and intuition. The grid contains order, chaos, grief, and limitlessness.

Alt text provided upon request to

Millie Chen

Millie Chen has been faculty in the UB Department of Art since 1999.  

For more information about Chen, visit her website:

The Riverbrink Art Museum

RiverBrink Art Museum is a collecting and exhibiting art museum open to the public since 1983.


  • Preserves and displays a collection of local, regional, national and international art which is unique in the Niagara Region.
  • Honours the collection and philanthropy of a remarkable Canadian, Samuel E. Weir.
  • Engages with current issues and contemporary art practice through lively exhibitions and lecture programs and hands-on workshops featuring established and emerging artists.

More Info: