“Art as the Way to Self-Discovery and the Calling to Define a New Hybrid Culture”
Artist CHiNGLiSH WANG's journey is a continuous exploration of the vibrant tapestry woven at the intersections of culture, art, and fashion. Raised between the bustling streets of New York and the culturally rich landscapes of Taiwan, he has come to appreciate the beauty that emerges when seemingly disparate worlds collide and harmonize.
WANG's multicultural upbringing serves as the wellspring of his creative inspiration. It's a testament to the dynamic nature of identity, constantly evolving as it navigates between traditions and the contemporary world. This fascination with cultural fluidity propels his artistic practice.
With a foundational education in fashion design from Parsons School of Design in New York and advanced studies in curatorial practice and contemporary art at the School for Curatorial Studies in Venice, Italy, WANG's approach to art is inherently multidisciplinary. He has leveraged this diverse skill set to craft artistic experiences that challenge viewers to see beyond boundaries.
WANG seeks to capture the essence of cultural convergence, where identities are in perpetual motion and creative expression knows no borders. He invites viewers to explore the captivating chaos that unfolds when different worlds collide and blend, discovering the profound beauty in this ongoing intersection. His work serves as a testament to the endless possibilities that arise at the crossroads of cultures, sparking conversations and redefining the way we perceive the world around us.
Q: How would you describe yourself?
WANG: I am someone with many conflicting qualities, and concepts of conflict and integration are materialized through my works. I am attracted by the eminence of the mafia as well as the dark, mystical qualities of vampires, but I’m also a fan of fairytales and a believer in “dreams come true.” I am a person with principles, and I am not particularly a fan of socializing and small talk. I think we should have conversations with real content, or we might as well not talk at all.
Q: How did you become an artist? Did your family have an impact on your work?
WANG: I didn’t have a clear view about what I was going to do, but I had a thirst to find my vocation, which was the source of my rebellion when I was younger. I was expelled from school during my teens in Taiwan, and during that time, my family went through some difficulties. I knew I had to do something about it and decided that a change of scenery might help; that’s when I moved to Japan.
At the time, Japan was more advanced in terms of design, art, and fashion. I spent my days exploring these fields and took Japanese lessons on and off. I only spent six months in Japan, but that was when I discovered what I wanted to do. When I returned to New York, I almost couldn’t graduate high school again because I only went to art classes. After graduating, I set my mind to attending Parsons, and it was the only school I applied for.
I’m a competitive person by nature. After gaining admission, I was constantly thinking about “how can I create works that are different?” I started integrating elements from traditional Chinese culture into my works. The inspiration can be traced back to my grandmother. Although I grew up with a Western upbringing, the traditional Chinese undertones that I noticed at my grandmother’s house fueled my curiosity; I wanted to dig deeper into Eastern traditions and culture.
Q: How do you view your multiple identities as a fashion designer, creative director, artist, and founder of a creative company?
WANG: The identities represent different stages of my life. The founder of a creative company has allowed me to accumulate ideas and experiences on the commercial side of things, which has led to the understanding that innovative business models are also a kind of artistic creation. This has enabled me to find my niche and provided me with the opportunity to proceed in the direction of my choosing. I always dream big, and the different identities have provided me with the experience and knowledge to get closer to my dreams.
Q: What does the creative practice mean for you?
WANG: My goal is to define a new hybrid culture, and CHiNGLiSH is my answer. We live in an age of globalization, and the coming together of different cultures is something I have personally experienced since childhood. And with CHiNGLiSH, will it cause changes, impacts and conflicts? I’m not sure, but this is exactly why it will be an exciting adventure.