Artist's Statement

 

The simultaneous presentation of Eastern and Western visual forms in my work is at once interesting and baffling. I am seeking a balance in two seemingly incongruent styles: classical European still -life, especially from 16th-17th century Dutch tradition and the classical oriental painting as represented by landscapes or flower and bird scenes of the Tang and Song dynasties.

Educated art viewers are comfortable with traditional historical categories, but such comfort is disrupted by this fusion of two very different styles. I invite the viewer to probe more deeply in order to solve the riddle of visual incongruence in my paintings. The multicultural, visual experiences reflect contemporary people’s lifestyles. New technologies make it possible for the global community to have a constant exchange of ideas and experience. Racial and cultural identity is no longer isolated and rigid. My paintings strive to transcend opposition, to find the whole that contains both Eastern and Western forms, seeking a peaceful coexistence through these cultural expressions and to instill a sense of harmony and unity.

When we still our minds, we become receptive to our greater identity, a self that has no boundaries. Our self-identification develop in societies and cultures that display a worldview of separation and division. Much of pain and suffering is caused by closed identifications with our sexuality, race, religion, social class, economics, and culture, detach from our ego and self identifications, we can embrace the greater whole.

Grateful to be who we are in all our life experiences, we can see things with respect and find the sacred in the ordinary.  With my admiration for Eastern and Western art, I adopt the old master’s keen observations in still- life painting with detail, reflecting the holiness and beauty in the simplest of objects. I follow in the footsteps of the ancient Chinese painter who used the landscape or single branches with a bird to express oneness with nature. With my contemporary perspective, I continue with the same approach as in centuries past.

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© 2018 by CHUNHONG CHANG STUDIOS