First international digital art exhibition begins in city today



Ashoke Nag

Economic Times, Calcutta news 10 December 1999



Calcutta is on way to stage India's first international digital art exhibition. Spearheaded by the Honolulu-based Dr. Rodney Chang, who is at the vanguard of this art form in America.

Works of 13 digital artists from the US, Canada, Australia, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, UK and Yugoslavia will be on show from December 11-17 at the Oxford Bookstore and Gallery. has stepped in as the sponsors.

Curiously, Dr. Chang is a dentist by profession. And, in his search for delving into the "fundamentals of existence and art", he has picked up close to a dozen academic degrees. Zoology, dentistry, psychology, philosophy... going on to creating a new field for himself, art psychology, during his advanced arts studies.

Dr. Chang shies away from speaking about it, but one learns he has been singled out by the famous Ripley's Believe It or Not for the number of educational feathers in his cap.

"Right through in the arts schools, I was looking for the truth in liberal arts and questioned the nature of art as simply a product of techniques. I wasn't interested in making money out of it. Art was a broader mission for me," he said.

Incidentally, Dr. Chang was even recruited by the US army during the Vietnam War and posted in South Korea on dint of his being a dentist.

Now, after coming a "long way" and around 15 years of unflagging efforts, Dr. Chang has emerged as one leading digital artists and has numerous "files" containing his abstract images tucked away in his website ''.

"I had begun as a sculptor and painter. But, wanted to do something new and controversial. Digital art's pseudo photorealistic forms really helps one to extend what cubism tried to explore: a fourth dimension," he observed. "I think this was a nice warm-up for my talk (at the American Center) at little latter," he said in jest.

Chang, known as Internet's Pygoya (Cyberartist), has been exhibited in Paris, New York City, Russia, Germany, England and Japan. The 1988 solo in Shanghai created art history in China. His dream now is to get Net artists worldwide into a collective community "to back the underdog". Of course, Rodney has not forgotten the "power of Picasso, Van Gogh's eccentricity and Warhol's abstract expressionism".