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Victoria H. Chang: Nü Shu = Secret Script

Art Beatus
Vancouver, BC – Aug 28-Oct 30, 2009

Tony Anguhalluq, Two inuit are drying caribou meat

Victoria H. Chang, Nü Shu (2007) mixed media [Art Beatus Gallery, Vancouver BC, Aug 28-Oct 30]

Victoria H. Chang, Nü Shu

Victoria H. Chang, Nü Shu (2007) mixed media [Art Beatus Gallery, Vancouver BC, Aug 28-Oct 30]

Victoria H. Chang, Nü Shu

Victoria H. Chang, Nü Shu (2007) mixed media [Art Beatus Gallery, Vancouver BC, Aug 28-Oct 30]

Victoria H. Chang, Nü Shu

Victoria H. Chang, Nü Shu (2007) mixed media [Art Beatus Gallery, Vancouver BC, Aug 28-Oct 30]

Nü Shu = Secret Script is a unique exhibit of installation and mixed media works by Vancouver artist Victoria Chang. The artwork is based on Nü shu, a secret written “female language” invented by peasant women centuries ago in Jiangyong County in Hunan province. At the age of seven years, girls began secretly learning nü shu characters from their mothers and grandmothers. It enabled them to communicate amongst themselves after they were married, to express feelings of pain, abuse, suppression and suffering that often lasted the rest of their lives.

Writing in nü shu on the crevices of a folding fan was one of the methods of exchanging messages. The tradition passed from generation to generation within small counties of this remote province of China. The last person proficient in this writing system, died in 2004 at the age of 98.

Chang's artwork examines both the visual beauty and metaphorical power of nü shu as a method of blurring the boundaries of Eastern aesthetics with contemporary Western art traditions. Although the language evolved during feudal times, the artist points out that, in the 21st century, scenarios of suffering during marriage continue to be played out in many women's lives around the world.

Victoria Chang earned a BFA in studio art at UBC in 2000 after completing a BSc in Mathematics. In 2004, she completed a Post-Baccalaureate in Studio Art at Brandeis University, Massachusetts, and in 2005 she earned a Master of Fine Arts at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York. Chang's extensive educational background includes three years training in Chinese calligraphy with Master Liang Shih-Fung and the mastery of Chinese Brush painting in the Southern Impressionist style from the late Master Frank Tam, both in Vancouver, BC.

www.artbeatus.com

Mia Johnson


 Fri, Sep 4, 2009