Chang began her artistic study by modeling the works of the masters, incorporating the calligraphic brushstrokes of Eastern abstractionism, and soon developing a singular expressive style. Blessing is a representative work of the artist’s self-made technique. With bold and magnanimous brushstrokes, Chang freely applied layers of lines and blocks of color that appear in dynamic motion. The oil color shrinks and expands with variation, colliding and culminating in one of the artist’s signature “ruptures.” Multiple layers of new and old colors merge and intersect through this process, the points, lines, and planes intertwining and deepening the spatial dimensionality. In the painting’s center, a light flashes into view, like the Milky Way amid the dark night sky, or a sudden clap of thunder in the still and mysterious cosmos, breaking from the universe’s primal chaos and giving birth to the continuous cycles of karmic cause and effect.
Chang’s work is endowed with a spiritual quality. In the painting’s impression of boundlessness, through layers upon layers of oil color, the artist depicts with great care what she has gazed at countless times during her practice of mindful meditation. This totem serves as a record of the artist’s serene reconciliation with her inner unrest. The illuminating light dominating the center of the image symbolizes a guiding light Chang has been searching for her whole life, as well as a tranquil state of mind. As a Buddhist, she also wishes to give the viewers blessings through her paintings. Blessing is very similar to Samantabhadra in terms of spiritual motifs and intense application of color. Samantabhadra was sold four times the estimated price in the Spring Sale 2019, exemplifying the notion that Blessing is bound to be a promising acquisition for investors.
Compared with Blessing, the gentle brushstrokes of Untitled imbue the painting with a delicate brilliance of emotional resonance. Harmonious blends of green hues form a symphony of layers and creates the illusion of depth. Fulgent specks of stars shine in the night sky, give viewers the sensation of gazing up toward the heavens through the dense foliage of a boundless forest. Chang once commented on painting, “The most essential aspect of drawing is the moment you feel inspired and find beauty in life.” Although the colors were in amorphous disarray when the painting first began, it evolved into a semi-abstract piece. Untitled reflects the artist’s proficient assimilation of both abstract art and traditional Chinese ink painting and demonstrates her masterful manipulation of oil paint to execute a successful construction of her universe of abstraction.
“I believe that no matter how chaotic or busy the days are, there will always be a peaceful moment; No matter how tough life is, there will also be blissful moments—these moments are the food for the soul.”
Sophie Chang, Mind Garden, 2005
Sophie Chang emanates intangible states of mind through technical bravura. Blessing and Untitled both capture her inner peace, portraying the ebullient character of the artist and an open-minded outlook on life. The bright light in the middle of the painting represents Chang’s abiding belief that "every cloud has a silver lining."
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