“Painting bubbles clears my mind. Every bubble is like a life—regardless of size, it will pop without a trace.”

Born 1982, Chaoyang, Liaoning

A little girl in a party frock blowing endless bubbles is the very image of innocence at play. Chang Liang too creates endless bubbles—they appear in almost all his pictures. But for him, painting them is more than a pleasant pastime. It is also a form of meditation, and an expression of his Taoist philosophy. Chang Liang sees bubbles as the perfect metaphor for human life. “We see ourselves as the lords of creation, and even make God in our image,” he says. Yet in the context of the universe, we are as insubstantial as bubbles: growing and shimmering, beautiful when we catch the light, but doomed after a few brief moments to vanish forever. For the artist, bubbles represent the truth of Chuang Tzu’s observation: “The four seasons succeed each other, the ten thousand things take their turn at living. At the end, no tail; at the beginning, no head … the cycle of change is endless; nothing is constant.”

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