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Taiwanese Alumni Share Their Stories

From Acting to Advertising
Azuma Tung-Feng Chang, 2002 MFA Advertising

Just like most of the students at the Academy of Art University, Azuma Tung-Feng Chang, the Art Director of Publicis Hong Kong, was attracted by the unique cultural diversity of San Francisco--it encouraged him to apply to the university. He originally applied to the Film School, but was unexpectedly accepted to the School of Advertising, leading him into a different career path. With solid training received from outstanding professionals educators, Azuma not only completed an eye-catching portfolio, but his work was also recognized by Andy Awards and SF Show. He believes much of the credit is due his mentor, Tony Bennett, who gave him insights into the essence of advertising.

He described his time at the university as, "Scary, fabulous, buried in artwork and sunk in the diversified artsy life of San Francisco; intoxicated with praises from design professionals yet often frustrated before anything was actually created." His frequent visits to the Cliff's House, where he indulged in the view of the Pacific Ocean, was a secret pleasure during his time in San Francisco.

Azuma's hard work paved the way toward his success. He was very lucky to start his advertising career with Saatchi & Saatchi Taipei right after he graduated.

He was involved in several advertising campaigns for famous brands, such as Bose, Carrefour, Cloud Gate Dance Theater, Corona, Sands and The Venetians Casino, UBS, and Western Union. Azuma's work can also be spotted on Luerzer's Archive. His Western Union campaign was nominated on shortlist of 2007 Cannes Lions, and it also won the Kam Fan Awards (formerly HK 4As Award).

All of these achievements he credits to his extraordinary experience at the Academy of Art University. Compared with ordinary life in Taipei, it was truly the most unforgettable experience of his life.

Less is More in Fine Arts
Chin-Lan Chiang, 2006 MFA Fine Art, Painting

Chin-Lan Chiang's Black Power Chin-Lan graduated from the Academy in 2006 and returned to Taipei to pursue her career in abstract painting. She believes "less is more" in modern society. Deeply influenced by Chinese philosophy, she knows that negative space is as important as positive space. A balanced construction and composition with interaction is what one often finds in her paintings. Chin-Lan's works show strong interests in natural movement.

Remembering her time at the Academy of Art University, Chin-Lan fondly thinks of San Francisco as a wonderful city. Being able to meet and study with classmates from many different countries was an invaluable experience. She also enjoyed the diversity of teaching styles from the instructors and participating in CASE (Campus Activities & Student Events). Students were offered interactive opportunities with various social activities that promoted peer connections and extracurricular fun. "Everything was free at the events, pizza, hotdog, coffee, noodles, ice cream..." For young aspiring artists she gives the age-old advice of "Study hard! Play hard!"

Chin-Lan Chiang, is currently a member of the Taiwan Women's Art Association. Trying to explore psychological relationships with the outside world, she develops her own approaches to express the movements of nature, the universe, and human beings. Chin-Lan's passion for nature and movement offers her endless energy in her art life!

Passion for Sculpture
Zack Lee, 2003 MFA Fine Art, Sculpture

"My belief in total honesty, in the process of art creation, and my faith in living an artistic life lead me to my MFA journey at the Academy of Art University."

Zack is kept quite busy now, teaching at three universities in Taiwan: National Taiwan University in the Arts/Sculpture Department, Tainan University of Technology in the Department of Fine Arts, and Chang Jung Christian University in the Department of Visual Art. He has been a member of the Taiwan New Arts Union since 2003 and was elected as the Executive Director of Taiwan New Arts Union since 2005.

Zack chose the Academy of Art University to continue his passion for art. As expected, the years in San Francisco proved to be splendid and worthwhile. He was especially influenced by a teacher named Wan, Zin who does contemporary sculpture of Terracotta Warriors. "Wan, Xing was a wonderful mentor. He treated me as a good friend and he often took students to art studios and galleries in San Francisco to broaden our vision."

Zack's passion for sculpture grew as his academic knowledge and creative experience developed. Since graduation, he has participated in several important exhibitions. Most recently, he was invited as an adviser and honored artist to create a piece for the "2009 Cow Parade Taipei." His sculpture entitled Bull Man's Love is a favorite of the exhibition.

Spontaneous Serenity
Andy Hsu, 2005 MFA Fine Art, Painting

Andy Hsu, also known as Jehn-Kueir Hsu, is a talented young artist and usual guest of the Academy of Art Spring Show. He participated in several renowned shows such as the OPA 15th Annual National Juried Exhibition and "Bay Area Influence - The Other Side of California" in Laguna Beach, California.

He chose the university because he was so attracted to the romantic city of San Francisco. As he recalled, Zhao-Ming Wu was his favorite teacher who taught him to be true and honest in front of art, to remain persistent, and to always look into one's inner self.

"The changing of colors, vivid brush strokes and the moods my brush creates are the foundations of my oil paintings. My painting is a reflection of world surrounding me, a journal of soul making, an experience of truth searching. My paintings are a documentation of my emotion, my inner voice and my struggle in the various stages of my life. To me, art is synthesis of personal feelings, subjects, lights and moods that inspired me. Spontaneous serenity is what I am trying to present."


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