Rosa Chang’s “Crowing Hour” Reflects Her Artistic Journey From Seoul to Hartford

3 min read

Hannah Lorenzo ’24

Arts & Entertainment Editor

Artist Rosa Chang showcased “Crowing Hour,” a selection of artworks that demonstrate what she learned as a Studio Arts Program Postbaccalaureate Fellow this year. From March 18-24, her exhibition took place in the Poon Family Gallery at the Crescent Center for Arts and Neuroscience, followed by a closing reception to celebrate her achievements at the closing reception on March 23. Since graduating from Yale University in 2023 with a double major in studio art and computer science, Chang pursued this academic year-long fellowship to invest more time in making art for herself.

Her work emerged as “Crowing Hour,” and the title of Chang’s exhibition is based on one of her first encounters living in Hartford during the transition from winter to spring. “More than 1,000 crows come exactly at sunset time, around 5 p.m. It is extremely loud and a very overwhelming experience, and I started taking time off my day exactly at around 5 or 6 p.m., where I will sit and observe them for a while,” Chang said. “That kind of feeling transitioned into something that feels extremely supernatural and fated and almost a miraculous thing to be able to witness.”

When considering the message of “Crowing Hour,” Chang thinks about this surprising experience and its connection to her own sense of memory-making. “The overall theme of the exhibit is centered around what distinguishes the feeling of nostalgia from trying to remember a memory, and a lot of my paintings feature very dream-like influences,” Chang said. “They are filled with these very significant personal motifs of specific times and settings and places, but not exactly or necessarily one moment. More of these connect together in my mind to set an overall mood, and I think that is what nostalgia is.”

With the support of the Studio Arts Program Postbaccalaureate Fellowship, Chang took inspiration from her first foray into art with painting along with new techniques she developed in printmaking and reduction woodcut for the exhibition. While exploring how she could transform the surfaces and dimensions of her artworks, she also pays homage to her South Korean heritage with artworks that are printed on ramie silk, which is traditionally used for clothing like the hanbok.

Named after two significant traveling points in her memory, “Hartford Patio, Line 2, and Elsewhere” is one artwork that reflects the personal connections Chang creates in this exhibition. She holds onto her memories in Seoul, South Korea and Hartford, Connecticut as she continues her independent journey as an artist.

“It was my first time being more isolated in Hartford because I do not know that many people here and dedicate all my time to the studio or working alone and being very comfortable being alone. The Hartford patio is the basis of that setting and background, where I first witnessed this crowing hour,” Chang said. “I realized a similar moment where I felt like I was witnessing something that felt very personal and miraculous to witness but was also technically available for everyone else to see if they wanted to. On the Seoul subway, if you take Line 2, it crosses over the Han River, so you get to see the whole Han River passing by, and I think that site was something that I held very dear and was so beautiful to witness.” 

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