Event Dates

February 4 - March 20, 2022

108 Contemporary is excited to showcase John Chang’s work in a solo exhibition February 4 – March 20, 2022. Chang’s work expresses the dichotomy of his Chinese and American experience by juxtaposing traditional and unconventional symbols and images through the application of mixed media. Deconstructed Chinese calligraphy layered over segments of world history and references to modern pop-culture depict his personal translation. The exhibition will also include his quarantine portrait project—sculpted silhouettes constructed from cardboard packing material.

Born and raised in Shanghai, China, John Chang is currently based in Southern California. His works have been widely exhibited throughout the United States. Chang has an MFA in Visual Art from the College of Art and Design at Lesley University and a BA in Decorative Arts and Design from Shanghai Light Industry College. The artist describes his work as follows: “I am especially interested in making and unmaking meaning with the combination of word and image—particularly in this age of digital communication. Incorporating contemporary events and pop culture, I collect daily newspapers in English and Chinese, cut specific text, graphics and articles, and put them in categories. I also gather post-production material from local ad agencies. Influenced by artists like Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol, my calligraphic strokes commingle with expressive brushwork and drips, and the freedom of such abstract artists allows me to explore Chinese characters in a personal, reinvigorated way—connecting to and balancing vital energy. The cross-cultural exchange mediated in my creative process continues to unfold and push beyond duality. In merging the beauty of traditional painting technique, modernist performance-like gestures, as well as typography and imagery, I am forging an art that both creates and expresses myself. Embracing the chaos, I stand hopefully poised between ambivalent remembrance and undetermined tomorrow.”

The goals for the project will be to celebrate Asian American culture and to combat anti-Asian racism. The outcomes will be to increase our audience’s understanding of Asian American culture and to become more aware of racial biases that contribute to Asian hate crimes.

This project is sponsored in part by The Mervin Bovaird Foundation.