36 Fantastical Sketches of the Male Body by Henry Hung Chang
By Christopher Harrity
"As a kid, I was always surrounded by folk arts, including statues, murals, illustrations in the books of the sutras, instruments used during rituals, as well as the ritual practices themselves."
New York artist and illustrator Henry Hung Chang creates inventive fantasyscapes with traditional references and immediate wet media sketches that deliver his subjects freshly. Below he talks about his work:
"I was born into a spiritual family in Taiwan and grew up in a temple that was founded by my grandparents in 1950s. My grandmother has been a spiritualist for more than half of a century. She has taught me everything about belief and dedication. Taiwanese folk religion worships a wide range of deities because of its colonization history. As a kid, I was always surrounded by folk arts, including statues, murals, illustrations in the books of the sutras, instruments used during rituals, as well as the ritual practices themselves. That’s how I developed my interest in drawing and storytelling.
"I studied design in college and worked in fashion merchandising, specializing in textiles. Shortly after graduating college, I realized that my passion for design was because of my love for drawing. After a major surgery in 2014, I decided to focus more I what I have always loved doing, and moved to New York in the following year to study more art.
"I think drawing is the most honest yet the most universal form of language in the world. My creative process is a practice of self-improvement. Drawing from memories allows me to revisit and re-experience. Drawing from life, on the other hand, is my honest and immediate response to what is in front of me. They have somehow become my ritualistic acts to reflect on the present and the pass, as well as to create an intimate conversation with my spirituality and sexuality. Had I known that my childhood would lay the foundations of what I do now; I would have told myself that it would all make sense."