Pari Passu

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Pari Passu

Pari Passu

Oil on Canvas
8 x 10 in
April 11, 2018

Pari Passu is a piece created in dedication to the coffee shop Chang has spent most her time in during the early half year of 2018. She saw the coffee shop start from zero to the day it establish and open for business. With such a close connection to the establishment of this entity, she has portrayed it into this surreal painting her feelings toward this location. 

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Conquest

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Conquest

Conquest

Mixed Media on Canvas
20 x 42 Inches
December, 2017

A clash of genders and a clash of cultures.

The phallic characters on the right are dressed as Western monks. The vulvic characters are dressed as concubines. Having monks depicted as phallic characters infers that inside a facade of purity, are still impure thoughts. The vulvic personas devouring their counterparts symbolize that females can be dominant even from a place of submission.

Throughout history Western conquerors proclaim foreign lands their own, in the name of Christianity. In additional, the color of the background subtly brings up the modern phrase Yellow Fever — a term usually applied to white males who have a clear sexual preference for Asian women.

This dichotomy is not only genders, geography, but ideas first depicted as war. It is hard to tell who is winning, who subjugates who. But sexual activity is not a battle. When opposites come together, perhaps it is not for destruction, but procreation.

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De-flower

De-flower

Oil on Metal and Mirror
27 x 27 x 2.5 Inches
November 2017

Human beings are born good. It is in our nature to love and care about one another. However, when we begin to love things over people, when the materials we own end up owning us, that we lose our innocence.

Young women often become focused on the pursuit of luxury, forgetting their innocence. Sometimes they might sacrifice their body or integrity for that lifestyle. Few people will admit to this behavior; most are guilty of it.

Here, viewers can quietly reflect upon themselves as the fractured mirror pieces reflect on them.

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Love Is a Four Letter Word

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Love Is a Four Letter Word

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Love Is A Four Letter Word

Oil on Canvas
24.5 x 36 Inches
November 2017

The formal qualities describe the nature of difficulty in a relationship. Partners often question what is real, or what is right. The composition also shows a reversal of the traditional treatments of gender in Western art. Instead of the woman’s body on display, it is the man’s. The inclusion of a pig’s head evokes similar imagery from Lord of the Flies, expressing a criticism of primitivism. The apple symbolizes a loss of innocence.

Symbols of gender dominance are also juxtaposed: while man may be in a submissive position, he is holding a white lily (the woman’s virginity). The woman is holding grapes in her hand, emasculating the man.

The table is laden with Chinese food, some phallic in form. To Eastern people, dining together represents not only intimacy but family bond. However, the nakedness of the body on the table turns that idea on its head by appearing uncomfortable, almost perverse.

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After the Storm

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After the Storm

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After the Storm

Oil and Pastel on Canvas
24.5 x 36 Inches
November 2017

(Mortal Ascent Series 3 of 3: Love)

The third piece in the series was painted meditating on the idea that love is the destination.

After overcoming fear, leaving our cages behind, and weathering the storms inside of ourselves, it is that we can love ourselves, and eventually each other better. Paradoxically, we cannot weather these storms without first loving ourselves and each other.

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The Divine Harmony

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The Divine Harmony

The Divine Harmony

Oil on Glass Tile and Mirror
30 x 30 x 1 Inches
October 2017

Man and woman, existing in perfect harmony, is a difficult yin and yang dynamic.

In the past, men have often dominated women in many societies. However, in modern times, human are finding more balance and equality.

Following the ying and the yang, in keeping with fengshui dynamics to create harmony, the man faces south and the female faces north. Together they find their own form of purity, represented by a lotus flower.

To see this delicate balance in relationship is true reflection of our inner selves.

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T.ildeathdouspart

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T.ildeathdouspart

T.ildeathdouspart

23.75 x 17.75 Inches
Oil and Shellac on Canvas
October 2017

“Like flies to honey” is a Taiwanese saying describing schoolboys lusting after the opposite gender.

A woman is indeed like a fragrant flower, and a carnivorous one at that; and the man, a fly.

But in this case, death is not necessarily a bad thing; death is rebirth. Through commitment, we leave our old selves behind and become two new symbiotic selves together.

All work © 2016 Anko Chang. Please do not reproduce without the written consent of Anko Chang.

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The Epidemic

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The Epidemic

The Epidemic

Watercolor on Paper and Javascript
July 2016, August 2017

The Epidemic is an experimental piece made after the announcement of rising epidemic of Zika virus from mosquitos. This virus causes deformities in the head of the victims' baby. Scientist and doctors are working very hard to combat the pace of the spreading epidemic. The virus spreads and gets terminated within movements of this animation.

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Red Moon's Call

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Red Moon's Call

Red Moon’s Call
Oil on Canvas
24 x 20 Inches
July 2017

According to Taoist tradition, on the eve of the Gods, the night of the red moon, roles are carried out by male dancers with painted faces symbolizing transmutation and change. Females are excluded from this tradition due to the so-called impurity of their menstruation.

This painting portrays a reversal of this, a female painting her face, about to accept her divine transformation on the night of red moon, in defiance of social customs. The aesthetic is also a reversal of traditional Chinese painting, with white on black instead.

I hope to express a sense of empowerment for women in conservative cultures to not be held back by the old ways, and transmute themselves, under the red moon.

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Rooster's Jewel

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Rooster's Jewel

Rooster's Jewel

24K Gold Leaf and Oil on Canvas
24 x 36 Inches
April 2017

Collection of Central Committee of the Communist Party of China located in Xi'an
Painted to celebrate Lunar Year of the Rooster.

A gift of appreciation to the City of Xi'an for inviting us as their honored guests, this painting shows the cross-strait friendship between China and Taiwan. 

In a painting style that uses Western and traditional Chinese brush techniques, the piece represents our arrival to beautiful land of Xi’an and their hospitality toward us, by depicting a rooster (2017 is the year of the rooster) resting in a beautiful spring surrounded by pomegranate blossom, the flower of Xi’an. The rooster sees its reflection as jeweled and shining, showing the limitless potential we have discovered through our blooming, flowering, friendship, in hope for good relations between the two countries for years to come.

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Story of Formosa (福爾摩沙的故事)

Story of Formosa (福爾摩沙的故事)

24K Gold Leaf and Oil on Canvas
4 x 5 Feet
March 2017

Award of Excellence, Taiwan National Exhibition Committee for the Arts Painting Competition

The painting portrays Taiwan through its history from Dutch occupation, the Eastern Ning dynasty, the Qing dynasty, all the way to the fall of the imperial government and the transition to democracy. The painting uses a surrealist, whimsical style to tell the story of the lively attitudes and cheerfulness of the people on the small little island and portrays how many different cultures and backgrounds can come and move forward together to become a leader in both agriculture, science, and technology. Through this spirit, Taiwan can continue on making wonderful progress, like how a plum blossom (the national flower of Taiwan) blooms in winter.

台灣從被荷蘭佔領,東寧王朝,清代時期,日皇統治,到今民主國家,這塊逆風島仍保有著福爾摩沙的風範。這畫是以超現實主義來呈現住在這寶島上的人民在經過不同文化洗禮後亦能保有開朗,活潑的態度,努力向前的精神。也造就了台灣成為水果王國和世界科技重鎮。這樣認真堅忍的精神就如梅花在寒冬仍能綻放,連101都飛舞著與住在這塊土地的人們勇往直前。

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Rebirth of a Civilization

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Rebirth of a Civilization

24 Gold Leaf and Oil on Canvas
June 2016 – December 2016
4 X 5 Feet

In contrary to the rigid social structures of Japanese snow monkeys, it is almost as through evolution that the human qualities of warmth and compassion have come into being. Only dominant females and offspring are allowed to bathe while the male monkey can only watch despite the cold. Here, both female and male enjoy the warm hot spring or cold air with warmth, love, and care.

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Amaranthine

Amaranthine

Oil on Canvas36" x 24.5"
24.5 x 36 Inches
November 2016

(Mortal Ascent Series 2 of 3: Fear)

Amaranthine  adj.  (ăm′ə-răn′thĭn, -thīn′)  the appellation is rooted in the Greek words amarantos, meaning "immortal" or "unfading," and anthos, meaning "flower." The word amaranthine emerged as an adjective of the imaginary flower and subsequently of anything possessing its undying quality.

For the second piece of the series, sequentially, people ponder what is it that forces us to grow? People have dreams, goals, and delusions to achieve. We are either running to, or running from something. It is no coincidence that in the English language, to flee and to take flight share the same root.

From an evolutionary perspective, fear is what keeps living things from harm or death. However, to humans, fear is much more.

Fear is beautiful because it represents transition stage between the known and the unknown. It through this stage that we understand ourselves, and grow from adversity. We are saved by fear, encouraged to be better. Fear lets people truly fly.

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Peach Bracelet

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Peach Bracelet

Peach Bracelet

Bronze
2.5 x 2 x 2.5 in
July 2016

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Bird Brooch

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Bird Brooch

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Bird Brooch

925 Silver, Brass, Turquoise Cabochon, Tiger Stone
2.25 x 3.25 Inches
July 2017

The brooch is made as a conjunction piece with After the Storm, which portrays an idea of love. Love is not something that is always around when needed most. A jewelry piece is made to tell the value of love in times of difficulty. The brooch being close to the heart, whoever wears it will hopefully be reminded that process they had overcame to achieve the love and success they have gained.

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Jellyfish Earring

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Jellyfish Earring

Jellyfish Earring

Bronze
0.75 x 4 x 0.75 in
July 2016

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Ankh Band

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Ankh Band

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Ankh Band

Sterling silver
o.5 x 0.5 x 0.5 in
July 2016

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Herbal Descent

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Herbal Descent

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Herbal Descent

Bookbinding; Wood, silk, flower, leaves, herbs, and ink on paper
13 x 13 x 6.5 in
June 2016

Compressed of 26 Chinese herbs, paper glue, tissue paper, toilet paper, white paper, brown grain, and white rice
17 x 20 in
June 2016

Food is an important part of Chinese family life. Food can be tasty, but also many times may be consumed to heal the body. This book is a collection of common Chinese herbs that families can find in Asian supermarkets across the globe. Many times these herbs are also put in dishes without people knowing that they serve more than the purpose of flavor.

There are times people may have encountered several meals with interesting tastes. With these instances they may feel more energized, decrease in situational pain, or be relieved of stress after consumption of certain food during sickness, weakness or seasonal changes. Little do they realize the essential power of the ingredients in these food. However, over the years, to younger generation, these benefits became mystical or were taken for granted.

Background

This book is a collection of common Chinese herbs that families can find in Asian supermarkets across the globe. Many times these herbs are also put in our dishes without us knowing that they have more than the purpose of flavoring our food. 

Ever since, I had recognizable memory of eating and taste, I know I have encountered several meals with interesting taste under my grandma and mother’s cooking at certain instances. Instances such that I am sick, I feel weak, or purely seasonal changes. I know the dishes prepared for these instances were not the usual typical taste of soy sauce and sugar or household flavoring my mom put into the chicken soups or broth. It is these intensifying strong hit of hypnotic pleasure that strikes my taste buds and develop my interest in knowing more about these tastes. Every time I consume food with these herbs, I feel better from the uncomfortable states I was in. However, over the years, I just took this cure for granted. 

Through some impulse to rediscover my culture and origin in a series of art I made, I have also decided to self-research on these herbs and make a book documenting these common herbs. The herbs are ordered alphabetically and documented through research and personal experience. Each herb is classified by their Origin, Smell/ Taste, Property, Actions, and Indications telling the audiences what it taste like and its uses. 

It is believed by the Oriental Medicinal Cure that human bodies are composed of chi and meridians. The twelve meridians control human life, yet they are the place where disease can live. If disease starts in the meridians, the herbs can aid the meridians to treat the root cause of disease. Chi, blood and body fluid, the essential substances for life activities, flow constantly inside the body and all originate from the viscera. They are produced by chi-transforming activities of the viscera and infused into the viscera to nourish the organs and tissues of the body. These will affect the yin and yang of human body. Keeping a healthy balance of yin and yang is the key component to having a healthy body. 

Hopefully, the readers of this book can use the information of smell/taste and the herb’s purposes to create interesting dishes to that will not only surprise the taste buds of their family, but also help them maintain a healthy body.

Process

This book is made through a very painstaking process using herbs, researches, drawings, notes, and drafts-after-drafts. First, I made a lot of researches reading old Chinese books on Chinese Medicine to understand the subjects in this medicinal practice. Then, I picked out the 20 common herbs I was able to obtain in local Asian grocery store.

The idea of picking 20 common herbs is so that people can obtain and consume these herbs on a daily basis. After deciding on the 20 herbs I would like to use, I researched the herbs for its Chinese medicinal use and the origins of each herb. Interestingly, many of these herbs, I could not obtain a full image of the plant from leaf to root that were already analyzed.

In fact, most of the drawing required me to look up actual plants and render possible full image of the plants using my imagination and creativity. Some plants don’t even have an existing image of the rhizome part. As a result to resolve this challenge, I researched up all plants related to that single plant with the same Latin root. Using compare and contrast method, I resolute the best possible root that might cohere with the plant. Through this process I also learned a lot about the plants, the anatomies, the origin, the plants and their relatives.

The proposal of creating this project is met. However, it was met through a process more rigorous than what I had planned in my proposal. On average each page required at least 6 hours of labor put into it.

Each page is made through the process of research, 1st draft (composition/ info), 2nd draft (precise measurement), final draft (tracing), mounting actual herbs, and wood framing of each page front and back. The wood frames are all measured and mitered by hand using an exacto knife. The frames were used to help make each page look like its own art piece. In addition, the framing acts as a source of protection.

Due to how the herbs were glued in, some herbs stick out way higher than the pages level. With the weight when the book is closed, it can either break the herbs or the herbs will penetrate the previous page. After the 20 pages were made, I created different small prototypes for binding the book. The problem with binding the pages was the pages are very thick and the wood frames are not flexible like paper. In the end, I came up with my own type of binding by studying the engineering of different types of binding. The ending result will allow the binding of the thick pages to also lay flat, giving full view of each individual drawing. 

In all, the project turned out successfully. However, if more time were allowed, I would like to also color in the drawn herbs using color pencil. Furthermore, I would like to draw in the blank pages on the back of each page. After discussing with my guidance professor, there are a few possible ideas. One is drawing out the recipes I used while researching the herbs and getting personal experience on each herb. Two is drawing out the symptoms of diseases that can be cured by each herb. Even though the book looked finished, but I hope to go back to this project and work on it even more.

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