Chang Hui Fang’s first international solo show Faith, is a series of works that largely employs the approach of ‘Appropriation’ in art. Based on religious art works originating from the 15-17th century, it aims to encourage the contemporary viewer to reflect on their beliefs.
When we speak of ‘faith’ nowadays, it does not refer merely to religion, but in fact to one’s deepest desire. Some find salvation in peace, love or family and hence are unable to let go of them; others seek money, sex or success as their ultimate goal. These things are often a complex product of our individual life experiences, and point towards what ultimately satisfies our hearts. In a world today which exalts freedom and tolerance, we are all in fact constructing our own definitions of ‘faith’. However, is what we build our ‘faith’ on necessarily able to save us?
These paintings use a composition of charcoal powder in water, the overlapping of various shades of colour and charcoal strokes to depict creatures in the sky. The use of brilliant gold leaf is also deliberately reminiscent of the image of classical art. In its ‘re-construction’ of the work on which it appropriates, each painting adds a layer of meaning to its original message. It is up to the viewer to make out the identity of the figures in each painting—a parallel to how we may subjectively define our ‘faith’.