Journey to moonlit snow mountains


  • Metro News
  • Friday, 03 May 2019

‘Grazing Under The Willow 01’

AN ART exhibition titled “Exploration” was held recently at the Clarity Art Centre in Cheras, Selangor.

The exhibition showcased some of the best ink paintings and calligraphy by local artist Jordan Chang, who is also the founder of the art gallery.

The three main themes of “Exploration” are the snow mountain, moonlight and Chinese scholar’s rocks.

“I was inspired during my time in China, especially Suzhou,” Chang said.

He said there are two main techniques in traditional Chinese painting – xie yi (freehand brush technique) and gong bi (meticulous brush technique).

‘Taste of Stone’
‘Taste of Stone’

In 2016, he decided to hone his gong bi skills by joining an intensive course in China.

The Chinese ink painting, he said, reached its zenith during the Song dynasty.

“One of the themes of this exhibition is ya shi – the odd-shaped natural rock formation collected by ancient scholars in their gardens,” he said.

‘Mountain Rhapsody 02’
‘Mountain Rhapsody 02’

“The artists from that era drew their inspirations from these rare stones.

“Even until now, art enthusiasts are still studying the fine arts from that period,” he added.

Twelve years ago, Chang made a breakthrough by having his maiden solo exhibition in Kuala Lumpur at the age of 23.

Back then, he did not even consider the possibility of becoming a full-time artist.

“I was working part-time as a barista then,” he said.

‘Exquisite 02’
‘Exquisite 02’

In 2015, he hosted his first exhibition on foreign soil in Melbourne, a city where he lived for six years.

“It was an eye-opening experience for me to witness their multicultural arts, especially among the aborigines,” he said.

In 2017, Chang decided to put aside his full-time job as an industrial designer and concentrate fully on his paintings.

It could have been his early exposure or even his DNA that made Chang follow his father’s footsteps of pursuing art as a career.

Chang with one of his ink paintings, ‘Moonlight Snow Mountain’.
Chang with one of his ink paintings, ‘Moonlight Snow Mountain’.

His father is none other than the local ink painting and calligraphy master Prof Dr Cheng Haw-Chien.

“He taught me the unorthodox way of using my finger instead of a brush to paint when I was a child,” he recalled.

Chang attributed his career to his father’s patient tutelage and influence throughout the years.

‘Snow Mountain’
‘Snow Mountain’

His advice to novice artists who are learning ink painting is: “Just do it, even though there are setbacks along the journey.”

“The most important thing is to never stop pursuing your passion,” he said, adding that art is a part of his life and he has not regretted choosing this path.

Chang also conducts classes at the art centre whenever it is not being used for exhibitions.

For details on ink painting or calligraphy classes, call 03-9082 1181 or visit www.clarityartcentre.com

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