ernest chang - portrait - feature

Famous By Proxy – Seven Creative Questions for Hong Kong Artist Ernest Chang

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I stumbled on this cool space called The Stallery on Stone Nullah Lane in Wan Chai, Hong Kong.  It turned out to be Hong Kong artist Ernest Chang’s studio as well.

I see a bit of Lichtenstein, a bit of Murakami and a bit of MR. in Chang’s work.

I particularly liked his interpretation of Venus (below).

The Pride of Storm - 2019 - Courtesy Of Ernest Chang - The Stallery - All Rights ReservedThe Pride Of Storm, 2019. Courtesy Of Ernest Chang / The Stallery. All Rights Reserved. Photo Courtesy of Alice Lonfat-Chu.

The same evening he was working on a piece for Tongue & Chic at Phillips, a showcase of sneakers by artists, including Damien Hirst.

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OUR SEVEN CREATIVE QUESTIONS for ARTIST ERNEST CHANG

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artist ernest chang - portrait - embed

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NAME: ERNEST CHANG (above)

COMPANY: The Stallery

HOMETOWN: Hong Kong

CURRENT TOWN: Hong Kong

OCCUPATION: Artist

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TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND THE STALLERY:

I’m a multidisciplinary artist and the founder of The Stallery in Wanchai. I was born in Florida US but grew up in Hong Kong since I was very little. The Stallery is my studio and gallery. The name is something I made up by putting together the words studio and gallery. It is where I work and curate pop-up shows on a regular basis, partnering with art industry friends to show emerging works from local and international artists.

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PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR ART:

My work focuses on the dichotomies of our society, juxtaposing pop culture motifs, readymades and nostalgia to create new ways of seeing and thinking about truth, technology and Asian culture. I have deuteranopia colorblindness so I cannot see shades of red and green, which is why I use mostly primary colors and use graphic or comic-like styles for my artworks. I also think it is why I see the world in metaphoric extremes, because it is so hard for me to see gradients in life.

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famous by proxy exhibit - ernest changErnest Chang’s “Famous By Proxy” Pop-Up Exhibition, Ethos, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, 27th Sep – 2nd Oct 2019.

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1. How long have you been an artist and gallery/studio owner? And what is your earliest art memory?

I’ve been a professional artist for ten years and an atelier owner for five years. My earlier art memory was when I used to draw on the walls of my childhood home. My mom used to scream at me when I did that so I used to have a hiding spot under this big table in my sister’s room where I would doodle my little portraits.

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2. Other than yourself, who are the best new artists (both local and international) to emerge in the last five to ten years? Why?

Locally, I would say my artist friend Siu Man (@siumanjez) is one of the best emerging local artists I’ve met. Her nostalgic and childishly satirical style of colored pencil, medium to large scale works are technically and idyllically beautiful. It is punk and contemporary in an Asian way that reflects the experience of growing up and living life in a big city like Hong Kong.

And although they aren’t really “emerging” anymore, I would have to say, internationally on the blue chip gallery scene – Nathaniel Mary Quinn and Virgil Abloh. Because Quinn’s style is sophisticatedly beautiful and haunting with just the right balance of ugliness and truth, it gives me chills when I look at his works because they are so solid in idea; and Virgil Abloh’s art and design is wonderfully futuristic yet accurately derived from contemporary mass culture. He shows us that the future is now.

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1SistineMcdonna-2019-CourtesyOf-Ernest-Chang-The-Stallery-AllRightsReservedSistine Mcdonna, 2019. Courtesy Of Ernest Chang / The Stallery. All Rights Reserved.

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3. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve heard (business, dating, or otherwise)? And do you follow it?

The best piece of advice I ever got was from AA. It’s just the serenity prayer, but without the word god in it. I say this to my brain when I am under tremendous stress and cannot function normally anymore: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” I follow it because it’s saved my life many times before and it continues to do so everyday.

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4. What is your favorite place to shop, anywhere in the world, and why?

My favorite place to shop would be any well-stocked art supply store. Because I love getting new tools that can help me do cool details to artworks, and sometimes you discover things you didn’t know existed before.

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1TheNaiviteOfTheVirgins-2019-CourtesyOf-Ernest-Chang-The-Stallery-AllRightsReservedThe Naivite Of The Virgins, 2019. Courtesy Of Ernest Chang / The Stallery. All Rights Reserved.

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5. What music, movie, book or magazine gets you ready to paint, sketch, silkscreen or brainstorm?

I would have to say when I make art, I usually listen to 70s rock or alternatively.. contemporary pop artists like Khalid or Lorde. I like music that’s either really energetic or super chill. But I also like to put on Rick and Morty, South Park and Ted-Ed videos on the side as I work.

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6. What is the question a person should ask you, and how would you answer?

A person should ask me about my artworks, and I’ll answer to them as long as I know how.

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Young Manster Q-2019-CourtesyOf-Ernest-Chang-The-Stallery-AllRightsReservedYoung Manster Q, 2019. Courtesy Of Ernest Chang / The Stallery. All Rights Reserved.

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7. If you could only spend US$250, what would you buy right now on eBay or at a local shop?

If you just gave me that money, I’ll probably buy some tiny portion of land in the Amazon rainforest online so I can further the efforts to save it.

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8. BONUS QUESTIONS (JUST FOR YOU):

a. What artist or artists are inspiration for your studio, your silkscreening and your art?

Warhol’s Factory and Murakami’s Kaikaikiki are both inspiration for my studio. I wanted a place where artists and interesting people gathered, shared and exchanged cultures and ideas. The generation of 60s pop artists are where I find inspiration for in my art but I am exploring more Chinese calligraphy art now for my next series as well.

b. Are Hong Kong artists receiving the recognition they deserve locally and internationally? If not, why? And what can be done to gain more recognition both here and abroad?

No, because based on an article I read in the Guardian last week, something like 80+% of sold art pieces last year were made by Caucasian male artists. As long as the art world stays racially imbalanced, local HK artists will have a tough time finding their way to galleries anytime soon. Most local galleries have foreign artists on show, if we wanted more internationally recognition, we should start by putting up more local artists’ works in the galleries on Hollywood Road. We need to start creating a local culture-driven scene that is balanced to our population and is also interesting to an international audience.

c. Is there anything you would like to add, promote or discuss?

I’d love for those who would like to check out more of my works to follow my instagram @iamernestchang or @thestallery ; my solo exhibition continues until 27 Oct at The Stallery WCH, 82A Stone Nullah Lane.

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famous by proxy - ernest chang - pop up exhibit - embedErnest Chang’s “Famous By Proxy” Pop-Up Exhibition, Ethos, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, 27th Sep – 2nd Oct 2019.

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IMAGE CREDITS

  • Photos and Images Courtesy of Ernest Chang / The Stallery. All Rights Reserved; and
  • Photo of Ernest Chang’s The Pride of Storm Courtesy of Alice Lonfat-Chu.