The book series From 2 Arises 3 encompasses collaborative works of Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney, related academic articles, and artists’ interviews. Since 2009, Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney have been experimenting with blending traditional ink painting and photography in order to lead the two mediums into the 21st century while retaining the essence of traditional Chinese landscape paintings. When the two media forms meet, grains on developed film and ink dots harmoniously come together, and the artists are therefore able to transcend boundaries of cultures, definitions, national borders, and geography.
Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney’s collaborative works have been exhibited in many museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the Cleveland Museum of Art in Ohio, the Kalamazoo Institute of Art in Michigan, the Crow Museum of Asian Art of the University of Texas at Dallas, and the University Museum and Art Gallery in Hong Kong.
The entire From 2 Arises 3 series includes six scholarly articles and interviews, presenting readers with a range of perspectives concerning the works of Chang and Cherney. Scholars analyze the relationship between their collaborations and traditional Chinese art and highlight how the two artists’ innovation and compatibility reflect a trend of globalization in contemporary art. The interview, in particular, provides a more personal approach to understanding Chang and Cherney’s artistic concepts and thoughts, and completes the entire series.
The series includes two books, with a total of 120 pages. The horizontal orientation of the books' format displays Cherney’s works in a way that approximates the viewing of traditional Chinese handscroll paintings. This orientation also allows enough space to include selected details of other works. In From 2 Arises 3 II, the Chinese text is printed adjacent to the original articles, which allows readers of both languages to become immersed in each article’s content.
FROM 2 ARISES 3 |
From 2 Arises 3 I documents Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney’s collaborative works dating from 2009 to 2014, and includes three scholarly articles by former curator for Chinese art at The Cleveland Museum of Art, Anita Chung, Assistant Professor of East Asian Art History at Miami University Michael J. Hatch, and Associate Curator for Chinese painting and calligraphy at Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art Art, Stephen D. Allee, and finally, an interview with the two artists conducted by Joseph Scheier-Dolberg, currently an Associate Curator of Chinese painting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Rhythms of Abstraction: Landscape Duets of Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney
Anita Chung’s article Rhythms of Abstraction: Landscape Duets of Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney introduces the creative styles of the two artists. Inspired by the history of Chinese art, photographer Michael Cherney travels to monumental mountains and rivers of China. His photographs present modern landscapes undergoing the process of industrial development, which is different from the harmonious relationship between human and nature illustrated in ancient paintings. Artist and scholar Arnold Chang is influenced by the brushwork methods of Chinese old masters. He uses traditional ink painting techniques to depict abstract, conceptualized landscapes. The author then proposes that the collaboration between the two breaks through the limitations of media and creates a new harmonious landscape. The advancement and innovation expressed by these works have encouraged many viewers to reassess their impressions of ink painting. These works not only retain elements of Chinese traditions but also exude a strong contemporary flavor.
Interview with Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney
Joseph Scheier-Dolberg has been following the development of Chang and Cherney’s personal works and the collaborative projects since 2007. Joseph has had multiple discussions and interviews with the artists about the progress of their work. The essential question in terms of their collaborations is the relevance of the ink painting tradition to the interlacing of camera lenses, photographic prints, and brush and ink. Through the process of collaboration both artists have placed themselves within a historical continuum. Scheier-Dolberg conducted an interview with two artists at Chang’s studio in New Jersey in November, 2013, in which he explores the question of how they integrate their two artistic mediums in the creation of their works.
Michael J. Hatch
Texture and Chinese Landscape: Photograph-Paintings by Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney
In Texture and Chinese Landscape: Photograph-Paintings by Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney, Michael J. Hatch notes that, the ability to effectively convey the machinations of nature, depends upon the common aesthetic vision of the two artists, one using traditional brushes and the other photographic technique. Beginning with this resonance, their collaborative works not only combine digital reality and painting imagery, but also present the two artists' mutual understanding and communication of Chinese ink painting traditions.
Stephen D. Allee
One from Two: Collaborative Works by Michael Cherney and Arnold Chang
Stephan D. Allee's One from Two: Collaborative Works by Michael Cherney and Arnold Chang introduces Cherney’s and Chang’s two opposite creative artistic approaches as a reflection of their different cultural backgrounds and their use of different media. Michael Cherney works from outside to inside. He travels through monumental mountains and rivers in China for his photoshoots and develops film in the darkroom. On the other hand, Arnold Chang works from the inside to the outside. Through his imagination, he extends the edges of the photographic excerpts and creates an innovative landscape based on the photo.
From 2 Arises 3 II
From 2 Arises 3 II is based on the exhibition From Two Arises Three: The Collaboration of Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney at the University of Hong Kong Art Museum from March 2 to May 6, 2018, which documents two artists’ works dating from 2014 to 2017. The book also includes an article by Tiffany Wai-Ying Beres, a PhD candidate in Asian Art History at the University of California San Diego and an interview with two artists conducted by Pi Daojian, Professor of Fine Arts at South China Normal University.
Tiffany Wai-Ying Beres
The Power of Three
Tiffany Wai-Ying Beres’ The Power of Three expounds upon the understanding and definition of Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney’s exhibition title From Two Arises Three. From Two Arises Three comes from the phrase “three produces all things” in the Dao De Jing. From a cosmological viewpoint, three is the union of dualistic forces in the world—the transformation and mutual interdependence of the energies that underlie everything. The “three” that results from Chang and Cherney’s collaborative works is both a powerful shared vision and a unique meeting of minds. The creative process starts with Michael Cherney’s photography. Cherney prints out a section of his developed film on xuan paper and then mails it to Arnold Chang for him to take the next step, to create an imaginative ink painting. The two artists often think outside the box for their innovative creations, which display a mutual resonance. Beyond photography and traditional ink painting, their cooperative work is a “third” type of art, expanding the possibilities for the further development of contemporary ink art.
Interview with Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney
In the interview, Pi Daojian explores a few keywords of Arnold Chang and Michael Cherney’s collective creative efforts, which includes “mixture,” “randomness,” and “echo.” Their collaborative process has led to a dialogue between modernity and tradition, East and West, and ink painting and photography.