Exhibition Dates: Feb 20 - Apr 4, 2021
Opening Hours: Wed-Sun, 11AM-7PM
82A Stone Nullah Lane
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
In Chang’s new works, instantly recognizable images from global pop and consumer culture—such as characters from well-known animated sitcoms and video game, and iconic logos from luxury fashion houses—are figured as central motifs within compositions that recall traditional Chinese artistic mediums, techniques and iconography. The resulting visual juxtaposition offers a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the dominating influence of Chinese consumer power on the global marketplace. By situating icons from Western pop culture into unmistakably Chinese compositions, these works also reflect on the ubiquitous advertising by global luxury brands to suit ever-changing trends and the shifting demographics with buying power.
THE ARTIST'S STATEMENT
By blending staple aesthetic motifs of Western and Chinese art and using techniques from both traditions—like silk screens and Chinese calligraphy—I sought to create a sense of harmony within the chaos that is this present moment. In the seeming harmony I have created with the compositions and characters, however, I also tried to infuse a subtle, perhaps even tongue-in-cheek, ambivalence that might make viewers chuckle. I hope that my works can make my audience reflect on the cultural products we consume and the people we hurt in doing so even as they are amused by the levity of my compositions. I hope that, as viewers—especially my fellow “millennials”—smile at my compositions, they also share in my reflection on our addiction to consumerism, for example, on how our insatiable appetite for new things hurts our planet.
I make art about things that control me because of my history of addiction. I use art to control my addictions because it allows me to release the existential thoughts I have into my works, helping me destress in times of great societal or personal pressure. For example, like many of my fellow millennials in our 20s and 30s, I am addicted to online shopping—I am in the demographic that the recent 2020 documentary “Social Dilemma” suggested was most susceptible to the “magic of e-commerce.” We grew up in a world where most of the things that hold social or personal value to us are commercialized, reaching us mostly through consumable content, advertising or commercials. The cartoon characters in my compositions are an indirect representation of the hold that my consumerist urge has on me.
I made this series for my generation, a generation that grew up with ingrained consumerist values ever since we were children. I think that, to a large extent, our childhoods were shaped by consumerism, as a lot of the media content we were exposed to, including cartoons and children’s shows, were sponsored by corporations with thinly veiled attempts at selling us their products and ideas. That is why the cartoon subjects in my works—images that influenced our younger selves in our time of innocence—sport designer clothing and other items of conspicuous consumption.
In these confusing times marked by a global pandemic and political instability, the only thing I can do is to make sense of what is going on with a bit of humor and color. As the landscape of global soft power shifts, I seek to find some form of balance. In a world where traditions are superimposed onto new ideas, and new ideas in turn influence traditions, I hope that my partly amusing, partly nostalgic artistic hybrids can provide some solace, or at least be a coping mechanism of sorts, for all of us.
中西融合的藝術風格和主題，一直對我的創作生涯有著深遠影響。《Bling Dynasty》是我最近期一次運用到這種藝術風格和主題的新嘗試。它也是我在2019年所創作，一系列「混合」日本漫畫風格和文藝復興藝術的系列《Famous By Proxy》的延續。本系列的誕生，源於中國經濟的迅速發展，並在2020年成為世界第二大經濟體。中國消費者的購買風潮、消費習慣，和對奢侈品的追求，令各大高級品牌及藝術家們，紛紛為迎合口味而做出新的設計和產品。我想要探討的是，這種新需求如何改變西方流行文化的面貌。我揉合了西方和中國藝術的美學意念，並採用絲網印刷和中國書法這些中西傳統創作方式，試圖透過自己的作品和角色，在混亂中營造出一絲和諧。然而在和諧的背後，觀眾也不難察覺到那些微妙的，甚至是惹人發笑的嘲諷的矛盾。我的作品不只是要娛樂觀眾，我更希望他們能從中反思這些消費文化產品的行為，以及因此而受到傷害的人。我希望觀眾，尤其像我的這種「千禧世代」，在對作品會心微笑的同時，也能感受到我對消費主義成癮的沉思 － 例如，無止境的物慾對地球造成的危害。我也是一個成癮者，我的創作正是取材自那些一直操控著我的事物，好讓我至少能透過藝術釋放生活和工作上的巨大壓力，從而也減弱了我的心癮。我跟一眾「千鿋世代」一樣，在20、30歲的年紀非常沉迷網上購物。2020年的紀錄片《Social Dilemma》就描述了一群被「Magic Of E-Commerce」潛移默化的人口，而我絕對是其中之一。我們成長於一個充斥廣告和消費性資訊的世界，很多時候，甚至連社會及個人價值都被商品化。於是，我決定為從小就被消費主義扎根的這一代創作出整個系列，並希望通過作品中的卡通人物，間接表現出消費主義對我們的控制。我認為，我們的童年在很大程度上是由消費主義塑造的。畢竟我們接觸到的許多媒體內容，包括卡通和兒童節目，都是由商業機構或企業贊助，以向大眾推銷產品為實際目的。這也是為何我會讓那些象徵大家純真年代的卡通人物，在作品中炫耀著各種名牌服飾和奢侈消費品。在全球流行病橫行，以及政治動盪的混亂時期，我只能借用一點點的幽默和色彩去嘗試釐清現狀。隨著全球軟實力的局勢轉變，我也努力尋找著某種形式的平衡。現今世代，傳統觀念被加諸到新興思想之上，新興思想又反過來影響著傳統。但願我這種半玩味半懷舊的混合藝術，會為各位帶來些許慰藉，或者至少，可以成為大家在面對矛盾時的一種應對機制。