Despite being the world’s top-selling artist, Chang Dai-chien’s life remained a mystery — until now.
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“Of Color and Ink” (2023) follows the extraordinary journey of Chinese artist Chang Dai-chien (Zhang Daqian) (1899–1983), widely considered to be the most important Chinese painter of the 20th century. Chang left his beloved homeland in 1949 when the Communist Party came to power, spending the rest of his life in exile. Four decades after his passing, he remains China’s most popular painter, consistently ranking among the top-selling artists at auction worldwide — yet his name is not widely known outside of China, and the details of his life overseas have remained a mystery even to Chinese scholars.
“Of Color and Ink” fills in a critical blank in art history by finally presenting a complete image of this world-class artist. Director Weimin Zhang’s feature-length documentary unveils the hidden stories of Chang’s journey in exile and sheds new light on his legacy in the global art world. The film also provides new insights into contemporary art, culture, and politics relative to Chang’s artistic achievements and his unique perspective on world art history.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER
Weimin Zhang is an award-winning filmmaker, cinematographer, creative multimedia designer, and professor at San Francisco State University’s School of Cinema. One of China’s Sixth Generation filmmakers, she graduated from Beijing Film Academy and received her MFA at Ohio University. She has worked as a director, cinematographer, and editor on numerous award-winning films, documentaries, and TV drama series in both China and the U.S., including “The House of Spirit” (2000) and “Missing Home: The Last Days of Beijing Hutongs” (2013). Her films have received numerous honors including the Women in Film Award and the Montreal Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize.
The Asian Art Museum thanks the Society for Asian Art for co-sponsoring this presentation.
The Society for Asian Art is an independent nonprofit organization that provides programs on Asian art and culture and supports the Asian Art Museum.