Splitting the Rainbow
Featuring 12 repeating colors painted vertically on the canvas, this painting is reminiscent of a rainbow. Chang asks the viewers to see his rainbow-colored painting through a smartphone-shaped acrylic sheet placed in front of the painting. Seen through this simple device which uses only one eye, the rainbow is transformed into single colors such as red, yellow and green. Colors of the rainbow are in themselves analytic, but the intervention of another device reverts them to purer colors. The colors reflected by the painting look different depending on the photon’s energy, calculated by multiplying the light's frequency with the Planck constant (hv). Titled ‘Splitting the Rainbow,’ this painting presents an artistic method through which the viewer distinguishes and separates certain colors from the numerous lights that blend around us.
In the painting [Two Frames], two types of straight lines overlap and interfere with each other, making them seem as if they were curved lines. The curved lines, created by the red and green straight lines, are the results of a particular optical illusion known as the ‘moiré effect’. For the red and green used in the painting, Chang took inspiration from how the human eye’s cone cells recognize three colors of L, M, and S; two of these are red (L) and green (M). The world looks flat when seen through one eye, and becomes three-dimensional only when both eyes are used. This three-dimensionality is created as two flat images from each eye interact with one another, and Chang commented that ‘people observe objects with a set of two unique eyes (the frame), and the interaction of colors creates the objects.’
Stars from the CMY
By employing colors and shapes printed on many layers of transparent sheets, [Stars from the CMY] expanded light’s capacity to intervene. Depending on the position of the viewer’s eyes, color or light are blended in real-time. Chang covered his picture frame with a photorefractive film in a way which combines color and shapes. Thereby the images on either side become merged when the artwork is viewed directly from the front. Chang explained that, while printed ink is based on the principle of subtractive color mixing, the introduction of this transparent device resulted in additive color mixing which is akin to that of light.
Color stripes fill up a rectangular paper with width and length having a 1:1.414 ratio. The paper’s ratio, according to the Pythagorean theorem, is equal to the ratio of a square's side length to its diagonal. This is in fact is the ratio of an A4 paper’s width and length, the most familiar paper size to the majority of the world. This frame is divided into six spaces akin to strata. The spaces are filled with stripes of lines; the colors assigned to each number, representing the decimal digits of the infinite sequence of 1.414... Due to the nature of this number, the colors are randomly arranged. In other words, although the frame of this image is ordered, the content is purely chaotic. Chang explained, ‘For me the act of artmaking is the act of materializing such invisible phenomena, and in the process, I experience the asceticism of a repetitive yet non-repetitive process.’
Chang converted 4,897 numbers in the decimals of √2 to colors and latch hooked them into a rug. 12th-century troubadour Arnaut Daniel wrote sestinas which were governed by a particular mathematic rule, and Chang took this rule to arrange each color. The non-repetitive decimal’s irregularity collapses as it confronts the strict regularity of Daniel’s sestina. To transcend the rigid and stern approach of filling numbers (colors) according to a predetermined pattern, Chang used a warm and cozy textile to realize a friendly and common yet complex image.