Red - Part III of IV">

A Touch of Red - Part III of IV

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Updated: August 11, 2015

Part III: On the Artist-Chang Yi

    Being aware of your own mortality at an early age can have a remarkable effect on your perspective. Death has a way of altering your view and making you aware of the things that matter. And an artist’s vision is everything. That is why, to understand Chang Yi, we must begin at the end—we must begin with his death. Or at least, his relationship with death.

    At the age of nine, Chang Yi was diagnosed with primary vascular disease—something which has left an indelible impact on his views on life and death. Although seemingly morbid, this understanding of death leads to nothing but a greater love and appreciation for life.

    Eventually, emerging from this courtship with the duality of death and life was an affinity with the duality of liuli. Crystal, as Chang sees it, can be a courier for both love and death, for reality and illusion; light and shadow. Liuli can cause both infatuation and sorrow. Incidentally, these opposites translate seamlessly from Chang’s own philosophy into the medium through his artisanship—a fluent grasp of an art piece’s flow, material, and use of light. That comes from nearly 30 years of experience with LIULI (the brand).

     

    Artist and LIULI founder, Chang Yi (2012)

    “Chang Yi… opened a whole new era in oriental world.”

    -Antoine Leperlier

    ­Award-winning film director, short story-writer, honorary professor and glass artist Chang Yi has stood with LIULI at the forefront of Asia’s modern renaissance since its conception. Dubbed by New York Times as the “father of Asia’s studio glass movement,” Chang has a style that is surprisingly abstract and deeply philosophical. It stands in stark contrast to his partner, Loretta H. Yang’s—although ultimately, they oftentimes carry the same messages regarding life, love, and death. However, Chang’s scholarly background and his own unique perspectives of love and death, combined with their mastery of the liuli medium, lends his work an exceptionally interesting perspective.

    In a way, Chang’s art challenges its audience to consider the illusory and ephemeral world we live in. The discussion may be as contentious as a distorted Buddha, or as simple as a flower, but the art is phrased like a question. Through the subject of relevant culture, it invokes viewers’ imagination—hearkening to our heritage, and calling to our hearts. So, what is in your heart?

     

    (To be continued ...)

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