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 Chang Da-Chien

Chang Da-Chien (1899-1983)
photo of Chang Da-Chien
  Mr. Chang was a native of Nei-chiang, Szechwan. His  original  given   name Chuan was later changed to Yuan, while his childhood name Chi   was later incorporated into his studio name Chi-yuan. He took the   religious name Dai-chien upon becoming a Buddhist monk, and after   returning to the laity he called himself Dai-chien chu-shih or "Lay   believer Dai-chien.  
At the age of 21 he studied under Tseng Hsi and Li Jui-ching. Taking Shih Tao and Pa-ta Shan-Ren as his starting point, he sought out as many paintings by famous artists of past centuries as he could to copy. Beginning with an impressionistic style and progressing to meticulous brushwork, he developed the ability to move between these techniques with complete master.

painting of full bloom lotus painting of swaying lotus ink brush lotus painting
 (most classic Chinese painters took lotus as theme to reflect their philosophy of buddhism and taoism.
Above images are three various lotus painting from Mr. Chang Da-Chien)

In 1941 he traveled to Duen Huang where he spent two years and seven months copying wall paintings. Here he studied traditional coloration and line drawing methods, being particularly moved by the grand scale and complex layout of the high Tang style. The sumptuous splendor of high Tang art inspired him with the desire to create great art.

painting1 of landscapepainting of landscpae 2painting of landscape with  mountain housePainting of landscape with a temple on mountain top

Besides copying from old masters Chang Dai-chien was also expert at painting from life. Chang Dai-chien traveled widely in Europe and America, where he came into contact with the contemporary art movement in the West. This spurred a sea change in his methods of painting, and he created unique splashed-ink and splashed-color styles, expanding the potential of plane surfaces and coloration. In his later years, he combined splashed ink and splashed color with the masterly texture strokes and liberation of his early years to form a new synthesis. Hovering between concrete and abstract, reveling in freedom and unpredictability, Chang Dai-chien's work created a whole new style of modern Chinese painting.

(Below: Mrs. Chang's later period painting that that reflect the transition of Chinese traditional style to his very own.)

painting of veggie root painting of landscape painting of landscape

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E-mail Nell, 07/06/2003