Chinese Landscape Duets of Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney features contemporary landscapes by Arnold Chang (Chinese-American, b. 1954) and Michael Cherney (American, b. 1969), including solo and collaborative works that are profoundly rooted in the traditions of Chinese painting. Respectively employing both painting and photography to create artistic dialogues, the combined operations of Chang (the painter) and Cherney (the photographer) turn their creative processes into artistic improvisations. Their collaboration breaks the barriers of cultural and geographical constraints; both artists were born in New York, where Chang still resides, and Cherney lives in Beijing. A common denominator of the two artists’ works is an emphasis on the harmony of abstract and natural rhythms; when their respective art forms are combined, the rhythms of brush and ink echo the rhythms of nature from which the brushwork is derived.
Cherney’s photography presents China’s sublime natural beauty, imbued with an evocative quality. His poetic vision and “painterly” style is inspired by the art of Chinese painting. Whether they are crystalline structures of mountains, intriguing patterns of rock textures, or velvety masses of vegetation, the enlarged photo excerpts draw our attention to microscopic detail and arouse an awareness of the rhythms of nature.
Chang’s keen interest is in the abstract art of Chinese literati painting and its associated brush-and-ink (bimo) techniques. His creative pursuit can be compared to the act of imitation (fang) practiced by the traditional Chinese artists, which depends upon mastery of the ancient methods.