Hua Chang

In this Miniature painting project, I want to explore a new visual experience, translate and interpret what I have seen and heard between London, England and my hometown of Taipei, Taiwan. This is a chance for self-exploration, and (re)connection with the ancient view of the world. Further, through art as an interpretative medium, I hope to reflect my personal experience and my cultural background.

My idea for this project started from a desire to rebuild my visual experiences acquired during the first year of the MA. I aim to combine my own cultural background with ancient wisdom through different representations of time and space (oriental and western.). One of the most memorable courses I studied at PFSTA is the Persian miniature painting.

When I was examining and appreciating the miniatures I observed that the scenes of the interior architecture were painted with exquisite lines and colours. This reminded me of Chinese Gongbi painting. However, most outdoor scenery, especially in the Safavid style of miniature painting, the main structure consists of a mountain – and this reminds me of Chinese landscape painting, Shan Shui(山水).

As far as some manuscript paintings of the fourteenth century are concerned, it would seem that Persian painters were attracted mainly by the representation of nature in Chinese painting: for example, such landscape elements as knotty tree trunks, rocks and fungus-like clouds called Lingzhi clouds (靈芝雲), that is, clouds with a shape of Lingzhi mushrooms called Xiang yun clouds (祥雲). These elements of naturalistic rendition were introduced from Chinese painting of the Song and Yuan dynasties along with Chinese-inspired spatial structures and moderate colour schemes.

When I was doing the miniature painting courses, these two painting styles and the relevance of the two eras were constantly evoked in my mind. Finally, these practices became the starting point of my second-year project, that is, combining two visual experiences and creating a new visual experience that expresses my own background and what I see.

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