"The greatest Chinese painter of the last 500 years."
— Beihong HSu , famous chinese painter of horses
"If asked, “Who is the biggest-selling artist at auction?” Few people in the art world would answer “Zhang Daqian.” (New York Times June 2, 2017)
Chang Dai-chien (Zhang Daqian) (1899-1983) is considered as the most important Chinese painter of the 20th century. His artistic genius and ability have left him unparalleled, and he is known as the “Picasso of the East.” Chang evolved into a world-class poet, calligraphist, impressionist, and expressionist. His indelible influence on contemporary art history formed a bridge between China’s past and present, as well as the East and the West. Chang left China in 1949 and traveled throughout the world until he died in Taiwan in 1983. Over 34 years living overseas, he desired, created and lived in his dreamland, “Peach Blossom Spring” from Argentina to Brazil, then California and Taiwan. As the first Chinese artist holding the most well-known international exhibitions worldwide, and as the world’s biggest selling artist at auctions, his paintings have been collected by top museums, galleries, and private collections throughout the world. Yet, Chang’s art has been little known in the western world, and his life journey after 1949 has remained a mystery to most Chinese.
This feature-length documentary film is dedicated to revealing the unknown history and untold life stories of Chang Dai-chien, in order to present a complete image of a world-class artist and fill the blank he left in the art history. More importantly, this film will reflect how political and historical forces could impact an artist’s life and creative experience.
In the past 12 years, director Weimin Zhang has accomplished intensive research and interviews in the U.S, Brazil, France, Germany, Austria, Taiwan, Japan and many regions of China. Weimin and her team have traveled and filmed over 200 hours of interviews of Chang’s close families, friends, disciples, scholars, collectors, and artists throughout the world. Moreover, she uncovered and secured a great deal of valuable rarely seen an unknown visual and audio materials from India to Argentina; from Brazil to California, Japan, Taiwan, and Europe.
Behind the Scene
From Taiwan, Brazil, Japan, Europe to the U.S., the team has traveled all over the world interviewing the children, the relatives, the apprentices of Chang Dai-chien.
about the director
“Scoots faster than many people can run,” commented by the San Francisco Chronicle, Weimin Zhang is an award-winning filmmaker and professional cinematographer, one of China’s Sixth Generation filmmakers, and graduated from Beijing Film Academy in Cinematography. Since 1991, Weimin has worked on numerous award-winning feature films, documentaries, TV drama series in both China and the U.S.
In 1997, she came to the U.S. and earned two masters degrees in Film Production and Multimedia Design from Ohio University. The award-winning feature films that she worked as director of photography include Grandfather Ge, The Homebound Crane, and CEO. Nushu – The Secret Writing of Women in China won the best documentary film at 8th Torino International Women’s Film Festival, Italy in 1999. Her feature documentary film, The House of Spirit has won numerous awards in international film festivals. In 2007, The Library of Congress (Asian Division) acquisition her interactive multimedia DVD-Rom, Nushu – The Women’s Secret Writing for permanent preservation in its collection as a scholarly research project.
Today, she is a professor at San Francisco State University, teaching cinematography and documentary production. Currently, except working on the Chang Dai-chien film project, she has just finished a feature documentary film Missing Home, a story about Beijing Hutongs told through the close and personal experiences of a director raised in these disappearing neighborhoods, for detailed information please see http://hutongstory.com.
Support the film
Jingdong Chen & Christine Ye
Lily K Tan