|Born to artist parents in Honolulu, Hawaii, Wah Chang (2017-2003) grew up in San Francisco. He displayed his artistic talent as a young boy, showing his work in art galleries from the age of 7 under the guidance of artist Blanding Sloan.
As a young man, he did a two-year stint at Disney Studios working on "Pinocchio", "Bambi" and "Fantasia" and building models for animators. After his career was cut short by polio, he formed his own company and designed masks for "The King and I” starring Yul Brynner and the massive headdress worn by Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra.
As either highly detailed representations of animals and human beings or as the abstracted essence of an idea, Chang’s sculptures always reflect his environmental, philosophical, and esthetic concerns. Realistic pieces almost live and breathe. Stylized pieces are sleek and sophisticated. Regardless of style, one “must touch” to feel the nature of Chang’s subject matter.
Always innovative, some individual sculptures may have multiple segments, as in “Elephants”, which Chang conceived as two separate entities to be displayed in conjunction with one another. Esthetic considerations underlie the placing of the two pieces. He says, “The large elephant and the small one must be shown with just the correct amount of space between them to convey the intended feeling between two related designs.” The appropriate blue-gray patina in “Elephants” is characteristic of his attention to every detail in every piece. His consideration of the overall effect is evident in each sculpture.
Wah Ming Chang no longer produces new sculptures. The remaining editions are a testament to the heart, mind, and hands of this renowned artist.