AT SEA WITH STARS
SOLO EXHIBITION AT VERVE GALERIA, SÃO PAULO, BR
WRITTEN BY ANA CAROLINA RALSTON
An overfly through the sky. Sunbeams break through the clouds and touch the ground, water and land. Water drops that accumulate on this blue amplitude condense and transforms that space. The wind blows and invades an atmosphere inhabited by human beings, but covered by molecules that resist and spread. In fact, it is as if parts of our atoms are lost in the air for a few seconds and by observing this natural spectacle, we become aware of our significance in the world: as simple as it is small, close to the immensity that surrounds us.
Words seem to reach only part of what Fran Chang’s painting makes us feel. The works are like windows through which it is possible to glimpse a fantastic world, a world that mixes the real and the imaginary taking us towards places we can perhaps discover through the cosmos. A kind of clash between heaven and earth, underwater and stellar landscapes that are mirrored in the creation of a new world. The universe serves as the basis for this superhuman leap by the artist towards painting. Bachelor in Visual Arts at the São Paulo School of Fine Arts, Chang did an Extension in Astrophysics at UFSC and Astronautics at UFSC. Her education gives her an outlook that travels through light years, delicately unraveled by the fine bristles of her brush, the fineness of silk, a prime fabric of her studio.
Of Asian descent, Chang brings more than physical characteristics of her relationship with the far-east. Her mother was born in Taiwan and from there brought habits and teachings passed organically to her daughter, such as the love for manual techniques, fashion and sewing. Before dedicating herself to painting, Chang became involved with fabrics and followed with attentive eyes the silk route, the one material she would choose to stretch on her chassis. The transparency of the fabric weft is one of the fundamental aspects of her work, that allows natural light to play a transforming role in each work. Light is also a fundamental aspect of the artist’s creations: the one that she develops through the colors she chooses to compose the paintings, as well as the one that permeates the world we inhabit and highlights specific scenes of the image that is presented in front of us.
In the arts, she worked in the restoration and conservation department at the Pinacoteca de São Paulo, and was an assistant to powerful names in contemporary art scene, such as Sofia Borges. By invitation of the guest curator of the 2018 São Paulo Biennial, she held a reactivation of Tunga’s work through performance. From such experiences, she departed in solo flight and was soon awarded the Itaú Cultural ‘Arte como Respiro’ prize in 2020.
This universe of references was condensed in her solo exhibition on display at Verve Galeria, in São Paulo. The space, led by the artist Allann Seabra and the architect Ian Duarte, discovered the artist’s delicate production by researching the virtual world during the health pandemic, that has also promoted fruitful cyber encounters. After all, from darkness comes light. More than anything, Chang’s work can be read as a free translation of the triad discussed by Plato that elapses on the Good, the Beautiful and the Truth. Her universe is definitely full of truths. No there are no half words in her repertoire, only the flash that strikes like light directly to the viewer’s eyes. Her production magic is science, but also poetry. It’s a sea filled with stars.