Listen to art in progress at COM gallery

From the high-pitched squeal of a marker on a glass panel to the rhythmic whispers of pen on paper, College of the Mainland’s newest exhibit captures the sounds of art.

Blending sweeping curlicue drawings with music created solely from the sounds of its creation, artist Chung-Fan Chang explores beauty visually and aurally.

All sounds come from the audio recording made during her art’s creation, layered to transform everyday sounds to ethereal music.

“I explored the different frequencies of the sounds, and its visual representation. Those sounds can be amplified in the gallery.

“It took a long time to complete. I literally fell asleep doing some of the large format drawings. (The recording) is only five minutes, but it took two years (to create). We wanted to create a theatrical experience.”

The exhibit represents a collaboration between Chang and former colleagues at Jackson State University in Mississippi; Ivan Elezovic was composer/sound engineer and Mark Geil was director of photography.

The idea sparked in the stillness of solo studio hours.

“It really inspired me – the noise of spending hours alone installing art, scratching pieces on the walls,” said Chang. “Sometimes I use my wrist, sometimes I use my whole body to make the drawings.”

The sound recording sets off black curlicue drawings and abstract landscapes, with spirals punctuated by neon geometrics.

“For me growing up in Taiwan, I see landscapes in a tropical setting in comparison with the landscape here in the states,” said Chang. 

Chang is currently assistant professor of art at Stockton University in New Jersey.

Chang has exhibited her work in galleries and museums nationally and internationally, including the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Rochester Contemporary Art Center, Mississippi Museum of Art and Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel, Mississippi. Recently, Chang had an international exhibition titled “Next Kite, Next Weather” at Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts in Taipei, Taiwan.

Committed to making contemporary artwork accessible, the COM Art Gallery is free and open to the public. Exhibits are created and coordinated with speakers and other events to promote the area's richly diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

The gallery is located in the Fine Arts Building and open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., one hour before COM Community Theatre performances and by appointment.

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