Adam Chang Biography Chinese/Australian artist Adam Chang was born in 1960 in Shanghai and grew up during a period marked by the excesses of the Cultural Revolution (1966 – 1976). It was a period that saw China turn its back... Read More
Adam Chang Biography Chinese/Australian artist Adam Chang was born in 1960 in Shanghai and grew up during a period marked by the excesses of the Cultural Revolution (1966 – 1976). It was a period that saw China turn its back on traditional painting techniques and long held cultural and religious values that had provenances that reached back over two millennia. Adam was an impressionable teenage when Chairman Mao died in 1976 and the iconographic status that the Great Helmsman’s image subsequently received was to have a deep and lasting impact on the young painter whose talent was recognized at an early age when he entered the Art College of Shanghai University. He graduated in 1992 having mastered the realistic style of painting that was being taught and began exploring a more fluid approach to painting which brought together free flowing Chinese brush techniques and traditional ink painting with European painting techniques to arrive at a style that was very avant-garde for Chinese contemporary painting at the time. Adam’s Chinese landscape series which dates from 1980 has been included in several major exhibitions; Chinese landscape No10 1987 was selected for the Shanghai international art festival at Shanghai Museum in 1987 and in 1989 Chinese landscape No15 was selected for the 7th National Fine Art Exhibition hosted at Beijing National Art Museum of China. In 1990, Adam abandoned this style of painting that was anchored in Chinese values and techniques and turned his attention exclusively to the study of western European art. This was also a period that saw him paint many portraits underpinned by politics, hunger and war as a way of exploring and ultimately criticizing many of the social issues of the day. By utilizing this approach to portraiture Adam has been able to express his strongly held views on social injustice, the divisive nature of conflict and what he sees as the inequalities of the modern world.Adam moved to Australia in 1997 and after ten years of research, discussion and experimentation arrived at a synthesis between Chinese Ink painting and the expressive strength of western art, to create a new artistic language. By using often vast canvases, monochromatic color and large brushes which deliver sharp-edged delineated strokes, Adam has arrived at a style where the heightened and dramatic visual impact matches perfectly the painting’s didactic and emotional subject matter. Large-scale paintings such as Mao with Terracotta Army 2009 Portrait of Ai Weiwei 2013, Ink Flavor 2014 and Melt 2014 have been exhibited in major museum shows. In 2009 Spirit of an Ancient Culture series was collected by renowned Australian art collectors Gene and Brian Sherman for their contemporary Asian art collection. In 2011 Adam’s portrait of writer John Coetzee won the prestigious Art Gallery of New South Wales annual Archibald Prize people’s choice award. In the same year Adam’s solo exhibition “Mao, Terracotta Army & My Self” was exhibited at not-for-profit Chinalink Gallery in Sydney, which was hosted by Edmund Capon director of Art Gallery of NSW. In 2012 Portrait of Charles Teo was collected by the Australian National Portrait Gallery based in Canberra. Adam’s international reputation continues to grow as more overseas collectors turn their focus towards Australia. In 2015 Adam was invited to exhibit at the Florence Biennale in Italy and the Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale in Malta where he was showing Melt and Harmony respectively.Adam Chang lives and works in Sydney.