Behind the Scenes: Rachelle Chuang showcases multimedia art
Chuang combines letterpress printing and collage to create a unique medium. | Photo Courtesy of Rachelle Chuang
Multimedia artist, designer and educator Rachelle Chuang has been teaching color and typography for nearly a decade. She would often invite her typography students to her workshop to learn about the history of printing and typography, and print experimental posters using different colors. Chuang’s extreme passion for printing and color drive her artwork.
“I’ve always liked paper and print,” Chuang said. “I’ve always loved color and literally never get bored with finding new color combinations, mostly from our physical world and less from online sources. I want to perceive color as it occurs in the daily business of living, such as color palettes from nature in all kinds of lighting, from food, culture, city objects, textiles and more.”
Chuang began printing various numbers and letters that overlapped with each other. As she practiced this process of experimental typography, she realized she could skillfully combine her dual love of printing and color. She decided to use these prints by cutting them into strips and gluing the strips onto wooden panels to create a collage.
“I place each printed strip based on simple formal design decisions, color approaches and how the rhythm of the shapes play off each other to create a vibrant whole,” Chuang said.
This exclusive style showcases a mixed media approach to art that combines collages with relief printmaking. This new style managed to combine Chuang’s love of color and printmaking. It is a style that is totally unique to her. She began to advertise her work in her COLORBLISS.STUDIO and submit it to different art venues.
“Printmaking has existed forever, of course. Collage has existed as an art form for a long time, but I’ve combined the two uniquely just from all the influences of teaching as well as making these prints and having a collage background,” Chuang said. “I’ve come up with a process that is unique to the experiences I’ve had.”
Another inventive part of her art includes the names she gives each piece. Chuang’s work is full of creative names such as “Compelling Conversations,” and “Secret of Being Content.” Sometimes Chuang has the name in mind before she begins the process, but other times it comes to her along the way after she sees what the piece has become. She even has a piece called “Served with Guacamole, Fire-roasted Salsa and Sweet Corn Cake,” which she thought of while eating at a Mexican restaurant. All of these pieces combine her love of printing and color because of the vibrant and potent colors she uses.
Apart from the numerous influences that inspire Chuang, the Scriptures also give her vision and inspiration. Chuang cited Matthew 5:14-16 where Jesus exhorts his followers to be a light to the world as an inspiration for her work. Revelation 7:9 directly inspired one of her pieces — “Every Nation, Tribe, People and Language” — which contains several different colors that represent multiple nations and flags.
Chuang’s work has been published in multiple books, such as “The Uppercase Compendium of Craft and Creativity” and “Authentic Visual Voices: Contemporary Paper and Encaustic.” She has also been a contributing author for Uppercase magazine. In addition, her work was featured at Laguna’s Festival of the Arts this past summer. She is an adjunct professor at multiple schools including Biola University, Laguna College of Art and Design and Concordia University. Chuang has a Master of Fine Arts from University of the Arts, an M.A. from Talbot School of Theology and a bachelor’s degree from Biola University.