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EDUCATION
2011 – 2015            
BFA in Drawing and Painting
Ontario College of Art and Design University, Toronto, Canada

EXPERIENCE
2014, 2016, 2019 - present         
Studio Assistant to Robert Fones

AWARDS/GRANTS
2017                      
Toronto Arts Council Grant
(Individual) Visual Arts
Emerging Artist

SOLO
2020 (July – Sept)
portal to the pond
Curated by shell projects – Maegan Broadhurst and Barbora Raceviciute
QueenSpecific, Toronto, Canada

2018 (Sept 6 - 21)        
the life of vanda miss joaquim
Pushmi Pullyu, Toronto, Canada

SELECTED GROUP
2019 (July)
The Bald Eagle’s Claw
Curated by Philip Leonard Ocampo
Xpace Cultural Centre, Toronto, Canada

2019 (June)
Xpace Annual Fundraiser 2019
Xpace Cultural Centre, Toronto, Canada

2019 (March-April)
One of These Things is Not Like the Other
Pamila Matharu and Sister Co-Resister
Curated by Vicky Moufawad-Paul
A Space Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2018 (Nov) 
feelings
VSVSVS Studios, Toronto, Canada

2018 (Aug)
I was uncategorical, and so, defiant
Curated by Lucas Regazzi
AKA Artist Run Centre, Saskatoon, Canada

2018 (July)
GIFC (Got It For Cheap) Toronto
Curated by Andre Ethier
The Costume House, Toronto, Canada

2018 (June)
Xpace Annual Fundraiser 2018
Xpace Cultural Centre, Toronto, Canada

2018 (March-April)
The Architecture of Care
Curated by Marjan Verstappen and Genevieve Wallen from Younger than Beyoncé Gallery, Toronto, Canada
Installed at Margin of Eras Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2018 (Jan)
Come Up To My Room 2018  
Curated by Vince Rozario in collaboration with Sister Co-Resister 
The Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, Canada

2017 (Sept)          
Simmer
Andre Ethier, Adrienne Kammerer, Laura Dawe, Luis Mora, Mark Puchala, Mike Chmil, Nick Bierk, Omar Lalani, Robert Kenney, Sylvain Beaudry, Tyler Armstrong, Yan Wen Chang
165 Geary Ave, Toronto, Canada

2017 (July)
Billion Questions
Virgil Baruchel, Nick Bierk, Yan Wen Chang, Oreka James, Ash Sutton-Davis, Destiny Grimm, Spencer Hatch, Omar Lalani, curated by Omar Lalani
490 college, Toronto, Canada

2017 (May)
Tyler Armstrong, Sylvain Beaudry, Yan Wen Chang, Ash Sutton-Davis, Yishuan Lee, Aabid Youssef
490 college, Toronto, Canada

2017 (May)
Xpace Annual Fundraiser 2017
Xpace Cultural Centre, Toronto, Canada

2017 (Apr-May)
No creature can learn that which his heart has no shape to hold
Bryan Bowie, Yan Wen Chang, Chad Gauthier, Scott Waters
Wil Kucey Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2016 (Dec)
Girls' Art League (GAL) Third Annual Art Auction Fundraiser 2016
Xpace Cultural Centre, Toronto, Canada

2016 (Sept-Oct)     
What Would The Community Think?
Curated by Emily Gove
Xpace Cultural Centre, Toronto, Canada

2016 (July-Aug)     
Fresh Paint/New Construction 2016
Art Mûr, Montreal, Canada






bio






Yan Wen Chang (b. 1993) is a visual artist living and working in Toronto, Canada. Chang grew up in Singapore and Malaysia before moving to Toronto in 2011.

In 2014, Chang was Governor General Award-winning Artist and Writer Robert Fones’ studio assistant for his solo show at Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto, Canada. Under his mentorship, Chang was tremendously influenced by his painting practice. She continued to assist him for his Retrospective Show Signs, Forms, Narratives at Museum London, Canada, in 2017. Chang received her BFA in Drawing and Painting at the Ontario College of Art and Design University, Toronto, Canada, in 2015. Chang continues to assist Fones’ as his studio assistant presently.

Chang was recently a recipient of the Emerging Artist Visual Art grant from the Toronto Arts Council for her first solo show the life of vanda miss joaquim at Pushmi Pullyu, Toronto, Canada, that opened in September 2018. Chang has shown work in numerous group exhibitions across Canada including Toronto, Montreal and Saskatoon.







 
statement





Yan Wen Chang was raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Singapore before moving to Toronto, Canada, when she was 17 years of age. As she was completing her BFA in Drawing and Painting at OCAD University, she became Robert Fones’ studio assistant for his solo show at Olga Korper Gallery in 2014. Fones’ visual arts practice was a tremendous influence on Chang’s painting technique as she started mastering Fones’ methods of painting smooth and curved lines within a text form in oil paint. After years of pursuing her own professional practice, Chang returned to assist Fones once again for his solo show at Olga Korper Gallery in 2019, entitled Contes em Trompe-l’oeil, Notes, Maxims.

Chang’s paintings are beautiful and painful. The text-based paintings that recently include images of botany and animals indigenous to Malaysia and Singapore address her journey of addiction, recovery and displacement. The paintings are similar to a poem. In poetry where missing words and punctuation allow for interpretation and misinterpretation, Chang has painted only what she can remember, even if they are false memories or true recounts of history.

Chang finds texts through her surroundings. Sources of her found texts include local bar and restaurant signage, tattoos on the bodies of her peers, and personal and found letters and postcards. Chang preserves and paints the fonts and text form in the original way they were found as a way of expressing how she assimilates and understands her surroundings.

In her recent work, Chang has been addressing her memories of a hidden pond behind the local school she attended in Singapore when she was six. The pond had no name, and was home to tropical botany and animals indigenous to Singapore including the tadpole and frog, Venus Fly Trap, Rafflesia, Pitcher Plant, Hibiscus and more. None of her classmates knew of the pond, and Chang would often go there by herself during recess and after school. Chang would have to climb through a storm drain that was dry when the monsoon period was not in season.

By exploring this memory of the pond, Chang connects her current reality to her past memories of her home and her upbringing. Chang recreates and honours her memories of her indigenous environment in Singapore and Malaysia while acknowledging her present journey of addiction, recovery and displacement. By selecting past memories and immortalizing them into paintings, her chosen and lost memories are preserved. Almost like a time capsule, the memory of the mysterious and hidden pond lives on into the present world as a portal into current reality.