Chinese/Australian artist Adam Chang was born in 1960 in Shanghai and grew up during a period marked by the excesses of the Cultural Revolution (1966 – 1976). It was a period that saw China turn its back on traditional painting techniques and long held cultural and religious values that had provenances that reached back over two millennia.
He graduated from the Art College of Shanghai University in 1992 having mastered the realistic style of painting that was being taught and began exploring a more fluid approach to painting which brought together free flowing Chinese brush techniques and traditional ink painting with European painting techniques to arrive at a style that was very avant-garde for Chinese contemporary painting at the time.
In 1990, Adam abandoned this style of painting that was anchored in Chinese values and techniques and turned his attention exclusively to the study of western European art. This was also a period that saw him paint many portraits underpinned by politics, hunger and war as a way of exploring and ultimately criticizing many of the social issues of the day. By utilizing this approach to portraiture Adam has been able to express his strongly held views on social injustice, the divisive nature of conflict and what he sees as the inequalities of the modern world.
By using often vast canvases, monochromatic color and large brushes which deliver sharp-edged delineated strokes, Adam has arrived at a style where the heightened and dramatic visual impact matches perfectly the painting’s didactic and emotional subject matter.
In 2011 Adam’s portrait of writer John Coetzee won the prestigious Art Gallery of New South Wales annual Archibald Prize people’s choice award and has been an Archibald finalist 6 times. Adam’s international reputation continues to grow as more overseas collectors turn their focus towards Australia. In 2015 Adam was invited to exhibit at the Florence Biennale in Italy and the Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale in Malta.