(Above) When the Mountains Begin to Walk (Future), 2015 acrylic on panel 80” x 48” (photo: Jose Rivera) – (Below) When The Mountains Begin to Walk Mp4. video with audio Excerpt length: 1:17 min – When The Universe Dreams Full length: 11:31 min, 2014.

Mending the World Through a Dream 



Causation at Carrie Secrist Gallery can be found here.

When The Universe Dreams, 2014 Slide Projection and Audio Loop, Dimensions Variable

Dance of Retribution (left) and The Big Bang (right), 2013 Acrylic, gold leaf and collage on panel Diptych, 84 x 96 inches (photo: Jose Rivera)

Planets In Retrograde: Venus (left), Mercury (center) and Mars (right), 2013 (Triptych) Acrylic, silver leaf and collage on panel Each panel, 72 X 48 inches Installation view Roswell Museum and Art Center (photo: Jose Rivera)


Planets In Retrograde: Venus, 2013 Acrylic and collage on panel, 72 X 48 inches Installation view Roswell Museum and Art Center (photo: Jose Rivera)


Planets In Retrograde: Mercury, 2013 Acrylic, silver leaf and collage on panel, 72 X 48 inches Installation view Roswell Museum and Art Center (photo: Jose Rivera)


Planets In Retrograde: Mars, 2013 Acrylic and collage on panel, 72 X 48 inches Installation view Roswell Museum and Art Center (photo: Jose Rivera)


Present (left), Past (center), Future (right), 2013 Cut paper and gold leaf on amate paper Each banner 96 X 48 inches (Installation view Roswell Museum and Art Center) photo: Jose Rivera


Jupiter, 2013, Acrylic, gold leaf and collage on panel 36 x 30 inches photo: Jose Rivera

2014 and earlier

Collaged sketch book and bookmark, 2014

Healing hands, 2014, ink on paper, 2 x 5 inches (courtesy of Whitney Hobson)

Daily Affirmations, 2014, ink on paper, 2 x 5 inches (courtesy of Whitney Hobson)

May you Follow Your Heart and the Symbols in Your Life, 2014, ink on paper, 5 x 4 inches (courtesy of Whitney Hobson)

Dimensions, 2012 Acrylic and spray paint on panel (photo: David Robert Elliot)

5 Elements for Trying People, 2012
8 x 10 x 1 inches
Acrylic on wood panel and rock
Edition of 30 for Threewalls Spring 2012 edition of Community Supported Art.

This artwork was born out of an interest in the five great elements found throughout many spiritual traditions. The elements are interpreted here and represented by the color-coded wood pieces, black – earth, blue – water, red – fire, yellow –air and white – void or aether. This piece is intended to be a playful exercise in balancing elements and their energy forces that influence our lived realities. These elements prove to be trying, or a challenge as we navigate through our day-to-day existence. Any number of arrangements can be made and repeated over time. To complete the piece, a photo, letter, or any object can be placed in the center for contemplation. Additionally, a holder for burning incense is conveniently incorporated into the piece. The piece is meant to be an open space for anyone to create his or her own personalized ritual if desired.

Watch my predictions for Astro Space Party.

 All Our Relations

*select images


Glyphs for Protection and Warning. The World on Its Side., 2011 Acrylic and acrylic ink on panel with mixed media (Hopi Kachina dolls) 48 x 96 inches (photo : Bill Bergston)


Above and Below, 2011 Ink and acrylic on canvas 9 x 12 inches (photo : Bill Bergston)


Tomorrow, 2008-2011 Oil and spray paint on canvas 55 x 64 inches (photo: Bill Bergston)


Light Stelae, 2011 Sumi ink on paper 36 x 36 inches (photo : Bill Bergston)

A Way of Life

Derek Chan/ A Way Of Life at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago 2010.

PhotographyMuseum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Photos by Nathan Keay


Installation view, Derek Chan/ A Way Of Life at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 2010. Navajo four sacred directions, North, South, East, West, 2010 Gouache, glass, and Navajo rug


Cries and Whispers from the Salt Song Trail: A Reinterpretive Journey Softcover, b&w, 80 pp. Edition of 100 ISBN 978-0-9831080-0-9 Published by Golden Age on the occasion of the exhibition Derek Chan/ A Way Of Life at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 2010.

“This book is inspired by a desire to understand the indigenous people of the area, with emphasis on the Hopi Mesas, Navajo Territory, Black Mesa and Canyon De Chelly. I wanted to understand their optimism and unyielding ability to pursue a spiritual way of life. Despite centuries of oppression, foreign domination, lack of resources and trauma, descendants of North American tribes continue to hold on to their heritage and land rights.

My journey led me to ancient Hopi and Navajo villages, roads not usually traveled by non-tribal residents. The ink drawings collected in this book are a response and interpretation of myth, politics, landscape and the experiences of the indigenous people in the Four Corners region.”

-Derek Chan
September 2010





Hopi balance, impermanence and optimism, 2010 Gouache and acrylic Each panel 9 x 12 inches


Not an Island, 2010 Gouache and acrylic on canvas 64 x 70 inches Courtesy of Tricia Van Eck


Not an Island (detail), 2010 Gouache and acrylic on canvas


The Weaver in Spider Rock, 2010 Mixed-media collage on panel 9 x 12 inches


Rock mound in honor of those who took part in the Long Walk, 2010 Mixed-media collage 9×12 inches


Yellow Brotherhood,2010 Gouache 32 x 40 inches

 Monastic Residency

 Cosmology of Yard (in collaboration with Theaster Gates), 2010 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum, New York, NY

In May, 2010, I was a resident artist and performer for artist Theaster Gates’ piece, Cosmology of Yard, at the Whitney Biennial. I and two other artists, Torkwase Dyson and Dara Epison, were given the freedom to reinvent Gates’ wood-clad Cosmos in the Whitney Sculpture Court.  Over the course of three separate ten-day residencies we were given the challenge to reinterpret, expand, and respond to Gates’ installation. The Monastic Residencies in conjunction with Gates’ Cosmology of Yard were formed collaboratively out of a common interest in transforming space, bridging understanding, and challenging ideas of collaboration and creative ownership. The Monastic Residency, Counting Time, included a durational performance, works on paper, ink drawings, and temporary interventions to the space.  Interventions were made to encourage audience participation and activate underused areas of the courtyard.  The modular wooden boards were painted on and used as props for drawings and installations.  They were also rearranged daily to change the flow of foot traffic and sight lines of visibility in the courtyard space.

 Being/Becoming, 2010, Durational performance, gouache on paper, 100 x 110 inches

Bespoke robe designed by Irena Haiduk.

Additional images and writing can be found here.


photo : Paula Court


photo : Paula Court

 2010 and earlier

Time Is On Your Side, 2010 Gouache 36 x 40 inches

Daily Practice, 2010 Gouache 36 x 40 inches

Things are the same but different, 2010 Gouache 36 x 40 inches

Jogging with Caspar David Friedrich, 2010 Gouache 36 x 40 inches

Golden Age project space (2007 – 2011) founded by Martine Syms and Marco Kane Braunschweiler. These were formative years as a friend and artist of the space.

Read Martine Syms’ Art/21- “Center Field: Art in the Middle with Bad At Sports/Interview” with me here.


Photo Credit :Karly Wildenhaus

Daily ink drawing project. Thirty and Eight with Aya Yamasaki presented at Golden Age.


Vega Estates project space curated by Roxane Hopper and Julie Rudder, provided earliest opportunities to show my work and be part of a community of artists in Chicago.




At the Gate, 2006, Oil, spray paint on canvas 48 x 48 inches