Possibilities In Impossibilities

What is the difference of being an artist v.s. a fashion designer? I’m sure if you ask 100 people you’ll get 100 different answers. For me, it’s the difference between seeing possibilities in impossibilities that sets an artist apart from a fashion designer.

Very often, we artists don’t really care much about creating the most beautiful thing as the standard of beauty shifts every decade or so. At least for me the impermanence of it is not worth the effort. Instead, I find myself more interested in exploring the idea of finding possibilities in impossibilities that drives the whole process of creative experimentation. If supposed beauty comes out of it, then yay but it’s secondary to the main purpose.

Take pa’Frida 3D printed Art Installation for instance. I’m not really trying to do yet another “pretty interpretation” about Frida Kahlo, as she’s been overdone in both fashion and art fields since forever ago. Instead, I want to explore the impossibility of Making An Icon then Breaking An Icon idea through the incorporation of her iconic status.

“She has become an icon not because she wanted to but because we made her so.” - Stella Chang

When she first visited New York City in the 50’s she hated Capitalism and the idea of excessive ownership that comes with it…I can only image her rolling around in her grave lamenting the fact that we’ve made her into an artistic/cultural/social/tragic/whatever-it-is-that-fits-your-agenda icon…until we are over her and then we break her…Just like what we did to Norma Jeane Baker.

So I want to make her and break her following the time-honored American tradition and below are my steps:

STEP 1 - START WITH ONE SINGLE CONCEPT ILLUSTRATION

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Pa’Frida

It’ll started with this one single concept illustration to flush out the idea.

STEP 2 - FROM CONCEPT TO STRUCTURAL BREAKDOWN

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Breakdown

Breaking down the idea into 3D printable structural parts

STEP 3 - 3D MODELING BASED ON STRUCTURAL BREAKDOWN

I’m thinking developing this into a floating & hanging life-size sculpture with - you guessed it - The Italian basso rivlievo technique. Stay Tuned.

Sculpting Frida Kahlo's hair in Zbrush.

I'm SERIOUS about being an artist now and I SWEAR

I dedicated the last 14 years of my career to fashion, designing tons and tons of contemporary woman’s handbags and small leather goods for various brands. Season in and season out, it was the same formulaic routine, deadlines, and overseas travels repeated with soul crushing efficiency. 14 years later, I found myself completely unfulfilled, lost, and not to mentioned physically suffering from chronic ailments directly caused by long term stress and anxiety.

Ever heard of psychosomatic allergy to bleach? Apparently I developed an unrealistic allergy ( all in my head) to the smell of bleach because somehow it reminds me of all the hotel towels. And somehow that leads to my sense of dread of having to be on the road over and over again. Yeah, that took about 2 therapists to get it out of me. Not to mention my severe flying phobia which is not going anywhere but I have clonazepam now.

I’ve never slept more than 6 hours in my tenure as a fashion handbag designer, and I’ve never lived in a country longer than 4 months as most of my full term employers kept me on a 3 month flight schedule…one of the down sides of being multi-lingual I suppose.

It’s been exactly 17 days since I had a major surgery, and with time to think during my recovery, I’m ready to announce of my return to being an artist. I know I’ve been creating art since 2015, but this time, I’m serious about dedicating myself to it. In fact, I’m SO serious to being an artist that I’ve even created a list of What NOT to do:

  1. No more “squeezing in” art whenever I’m done with fashion projects. Art first please!

  2. Free-associate don’t worry about the price or sell-ability for a moment, just create and see where it takes you.

  3. Who cares if your “subject matter” is not “on trend,” or representing some kind of “ popular” social issues. Honestly, art is here to stay while fashion is out in a matter of season.

All that being said, I started below pa’Frida art collection, or para Frida Kahlo in Spanish. Why not be inspired by my favorite artist Frida Kahlo? Why not see where she takes me? Whenever I think of her, I don’t think of her bold colors but her pain and physical sufferings. Maybe because my life has not been smooth, and maybe I understand what chronic illness feels like, I just want to channel her zest for life and passion for living through my art…and maybe in the process, I’ll rediscover why life is worth living for.

Perhaps I want to understand why despite everything she still wished to live and fought so hard for everything in her life through her art.

So I started with pa’Frida art print I & II printed on white face aluminum metal dibond sheet, and you can purchase both of them from @swapupart Online Gallery just search my name Stella Chang.

pa’Frida Print I - mixed media art print on white face aluminum metal dibond.

pa’Frida Print II - mixed media art print on white face aluminum metal dibond.

These 2 prints are just appetizers wait till you see the upcoming 3D printed installation inspired by Frida Kahlo. Stay tuned!