Johnson Tsang sculptor
'Johnson Tsang' was born Chang Tsong-zung in 1951 in Hong Kong. He graduated from Williams College in 1973.
Tsang first took a clay modelling class in 1991, during his thirteen-year career as a policeman. He describes his first experience with the material as follows: “The clay seemed so friendly to me, it listened to every single word in my mind and did exactly I was expecting. Every touch was so soothing. I feel like I was touching human skin. I found peace and joy in it. I’ve felt in love with it ever since.”
Tsang is a prolific creator of sculptures of faces that are stretched and opened up in surreal ways and that push the boundaries of realism. Specialising in ceramics, stainless steel sculpture and public art work he employs a combination of realist sculptural techniques and then mixes this with his surrealist imagination. His works are a mix of the whimsical and provocative, and often integrate ‘human beings’ and ‘objects’.
Since the 1980s, Tsang has been curating art exhibitions. He founded the Hanart TZ gallery in Hong Kong in 1983. There are references to his time as a policeman in his works and even in the way that he displays his works; the gallery often takes on the look of a police line up when all his faces are lined up together !
By establishing his gallery, Tsang became a pioneer in introducing contemporary Chinese art to international exhibitions in the 1990s. Tsang’s works have been exhibited since 1993, in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Spain and Switzerland and collected by local and overseas museums and collectors.