‘You need always leave a space in your work for the brush stroke to have a life of its own.’


Born 1975, Hualien, Taiwan. Lives and works in Taipei

When Chang Ling was a small boy his artist father would hang sheets of paper around the bath and encourage him to draw and paint while he washed. Today, his abstract paintings still evoke that sense of damp slipperiness: stains and drips flow down the canvas like falling rain, or water splashing from the bath taps. Combined with the visceral, fleshy pinks applied to many of his canvases, there is also a sense that this not so much an apocalyptic landscape as an internal topography of the body. 2014.9.20, the artist says, represents nothing more or less than his internal state of being, like a diary recording a moment in the passage of time. Although he was influenced by the modernist paintings of his father, and then by the conceptual art he studied in Paris at l’Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts under Christian Boltanski, Chang’s work is profoundly inflected by eastern traditions of calligraphy and ink painting. He does not plan his compositions beforehand, rather they emerge through the developing relationship between his gestural brush strokes and vivid colours. Chang says: ‘I had to maintain the balance between intuition and rationality.’

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