Mass: Desire

Ink on canvas
60 x 60 in | 152.4 x 152.4 cm
2023

Assembled from visitors’ responses to Chang’s past installations, 123 handwritten reflections form a communal portrait of desires in contemporary life: I want the struggle to be worth it — I constantly just want the love and approval of others — I don’t want an addiction to control me — I’m tired and I want to go home — I need to let go of a difficult thing — I want to be remembered — We need to sleep more — We all need to think clearly and properly prepare for A.I. — We all need a little mercy now.

Chang hand-cut and burnished each response, excavating sediments of paper until only black ink remained infused in the canvas. The work is inspired by traditional Chinese reproductions of venerated texts through ink rubbings, the first “copy machine” of text. The strips of text evoke the shape of redacted words, a common practice in WWII soldiers’ letters home to censor emotions that might hinder faith in war-time efforts.