Born in the US but raised in Hong Kong, Ernest Chang now works and resides in Wan Chai; this celebrated urban district providing the metaphorical muse for all of his works. A former student of both Ringling College of Art and Design, Florida, and Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Hong Kong, Chang ceased his formal education in favour of the growth through experience derived from the application of his artistic endeavour in Hong Kong, an urban environment which amplifies so many of his perceptions. He seeks to question the audience regarding their relationship with technology, for better or for worse – a relationship for which the artist himself is conflicted.
Chang is the artistic director of The Stallery, a Studio cum Gallery based on Stone Nullah Lane which collaborates with and exhibits emerging Hong Kong artists and where he creates. He was also granted permission to capture photographically Wan Chai’s iconic ‘Blue House,’ before its reincarnation, and seeks to cherish and celebrate the districts history and to ‘Keep Wan Chai weird’.
As an artist living and working in Wan Chai, Ernest Chang has dedicated his emerging career to driving community engagement in contemporary art in the district that has immensely influenced both his personal life and creative endeavors. Historic Wan Chai, which has seen a great deal of urban revitalization and gentrification in the past years and now brims with cultural and socio-economic diversity, is a fitting locus for Chang’s efforts in sparking community dialogue about points of intersection between the old and the new, high art and popular art, as well as local traditions and international culture. Since its opening, the Stallery has become a cultural fixture in the neighborhood as an operating atelier accessible on street level to community members and casual passers-by alike. In many ways, the space itself, founded and run by young artist, exemplifies the kind of bottom-up, community-based artistic engagement that Chang constantly explores in his practice.