Eileen “Ai-lin” Chang is an attorney-turned artist.  Though Ai-lin’s creative spirit always has inspired her and others, she never in her wildest dreams would have supposed that she would be the force behind Ailin Art.  She sought out her art a few years ago through serendipity – and a difficult personal journey.  But that turning point was an epiphany for Ai-lin and would catapult her into a world of new possibilities.  



Ai-lin’s Chinese and family legacies have been a strong influence in her life.  Her grandfather headed the Bank of China and was a government minister in pre-1949 China.  Her family lost everything when they left China, but not hope and courage.  Ai-lin was born in Taipei and arrived in New York City in 1968 at age 7.  Not knowing any English, she quickly caught up with the language and the American dream. Ai-lin had pulls from both the rational and creative sides. When she was 12, she had her work displayed at the Art Institute of Chicago.  Ai-lin worked her way through Harvard University and Columbia Law School.   Though she practiced law for a number of years on Wall Street, at the Office of the Governor of New York and for a major biotech company, one of her mentors encouraged Ai-lin always to have something of her own.  That “something” would be the expression of her strong artistic sensibilities. 

With time, she found that her artistic expression gave her balance and life.  Ai-lin returned to her art a few years ago as she struggled through a life-shaping experience.  When she could, she poured her thoughts and emotions into creating her mixed media assemblages.  Art gave Ai-lin access to her inner voice.  Art was instrumental in Ai-lin’s recovery.  It was the expression of Ai-lin’s sheer force of will.  It gave her hopes and dreams when all seemed lost. 

The creative process was a way for Ai-lin to work through very powerful thoughts and emotions.  Many of the earlier works that emerged chronicle the inner struggles that Ai-lin had grappled with.  In The Unknown, a figure is lone and alone as the storm beckons – with the possibility of refuge, unknown.  Daybreak was the first breakthrough from the darkness.  Winter into Spring was a metaphor for the stage in Ai-lin’s recovery when she wanted to gain strength and move into spring – but was still stuck in winter.  Other dreamscapes express soothing and celebratory images that guided Ai-lin to reclaim her health and spirit.  The artist’s more recent works mirror her renewed strength.  In After the Firestorm, all treasures seem lost in a great firestorm.  But all is not lost as life and hope emerge from the storm.  Her work, Soaring, embraces the soaring freedom of flight.  It is also perhaps a metaphor for the rebirth of possibilities for Ai-lin – that she can soar again.  And in Gathering, it is time to gather the strength of the human spirit for harvests to come.

“My assemblages emerged as part of a life-transforming experience – and my own very personal journey to recovery.  But I believe that the thoughts and emotions evoked by my assemblages will resonate in the hearts and minds of my contemporary audience.  We all have moments of difficulty, fear, self-doubt and contemplation.  We all have moments of exclamation, celebration and renewal.”    -- Ai-lin

At the same time that Ai-lin sought refuge in her art, she found a unique way to transfer the life force within, to her assemblage art.  Art became Ai-lin’s destiny.  As Ai-lin moves forward with new possibilities before her, her assemblage art will surely evolve as well.

            The artist lives in California’s Mediterranean, where the open sky, California light, the great Pacific, and canyons of the Santa Monica mountains have given her much inspiration.    

Web:  www.ailinart.com Email:  info@ailinart.com   

Floating dreams.
Fiery passions.
Flirting with the unknown.
Contemplative journeys.
To the visceral call within.

            Ai-lin has developed a distinct ethereal style of assemblage art.  The artist uses a play of mixed media – fiber, wood, metal, stone and glass, and found objects – layered and juxtaposed to explore the textural landscapes and dreamscapes of life.  The media chosen have texture—and convey the luster, richness, vibrancy and etherealness of life.  Each work has a sculptural quality and seems to breathe a life of its own.  Her colors are strong and vivid, yet peaceful.

            Ai-lin’s mixed media assemblages capture the complex range of thoughts and emotions within us.  In Unraveling the Mysteries, a harlequin is beside a willow tree amidst parting skies.  The partial unveiling of the harlequin’s organza head wrap symbolizes what is beyond our powers to understand or explain.  In Winter Into Spring, the reticent stillness of the snow-dusted spiral stairway segues into poignant urgings of the heart.  The heart wished to move forward into spring but was still stuck in winter.

            Found objects and materials appear in Ai-lin’s assemblages in unexpected and imaginative ways.  In Gathering, an exotic sample frame corner becomes the cornice of a portal.  A pair of bulbous drapery tassels is transformed into women emerging from the portal with harvest-filled pots above their heads.  In If, the juxtaposition of floating sky-blue French ribbons, eucalyptus bark and tiles with a wave-like pattern represents the various elements of life in the artwork’s supposition of life beyond this earth world. 

            Ai-lin’s own photographs are often set in the assemblages to serve as a unifying narrative for each work.  In By the Light of the Moon, a pair of photographs of a tree swaying in the shadows melded with intertwined willow branches and torn bark paper become the subject tree swaying by the light of the moon.  In The Lost Kingdom, a duplicate pair of photographs of cut-marble windows overlooking a distant hill and sky appear as windows into time to a lost civilization or to what once was.  In The Unknown, a duplicate pair of photos of stormy skies sets the central ominous tone for the crouched lost figure.

            The subject of each work extends beyond the borders of the textured matting – connoting freedom and the fluidity of life.  It is an affirmation that we need not be boxed in.  Each assemblage is set within a shadow box where it dances with the play of light within. 

 The artist works closely with the top-notch framing professionals at Frames By You in Thousand Oaks, California (see www.framesbyyou.com) to custom mat and frame each work.  (Note:  Besides use of the shadow box for preservation and ease of maintenance, the artist uses high-quality materials, including acid-free paper and appropriate adhesives, to enhance the archival quality of the works.)

            Moreover, in the tradition of the ancient Chinese scholar-poets who composed poetry right next to their brush paintings, each of Ai-lin’s assemblages is accompanied by a poem written by the artist and reflective of the work.

Ai-lin’s assemblage art is the confluence of the creative freedom of collage, the medium’s visual and tactile sensuality, a sculptural quality drawn from Ai-lin’s earlier life drawings, and of course, the sense and sensibilities of the artist herself.

Ai-lin has shown her art in gallery, corporate office, restaurant, media center and holistic settings as well as private collections in southern California and the San Francisco areas.  Her artist talks have enhanced the public’s understanding of the dramatic toll stress can take on one’s life and the possibility of deep healing inherent in the artistic process.   She is currently working on other outreach opportunities through the print, radio and TV media as well as community outreach programs.  

 October 4, 2003     


Pacific Asia Museum
Pasadena California
26th Annual Festival of the Autumn Moon
May 3 to 31, 2003  SomArts Cultural Center
San Francisco, CA
Group Show, "Making their Mark"
Asian American Women Artist Association
Dec 2, 2002 Chinese Arts Council of the Pacific Asia Museum
Pasadena, CA
Artist Talk 

Oct 4, 2002 Rotary Club of Thousand Oaks/Westlake Village, CA
Artist Talk

Sept 2002
American Express, Irvine, CA.
Solo Show, "Soaring."
Artist Talk and Reception
For Harvard Club of Southern California,

Sept 15, 2002 Toluca Lake Art Faire, Toluca Lake, CA

Sept 11 to 30, 2002 "The 9/11 Memorial Art Show"
Gardens of the World, Thousand Oaks, CA

Aug 11, 2002
First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles. Los Angeles, CA
 Artist Talk
“Healing Through Art: Gathering the Inner Voice.”  

July 27 to 28, 2002                  Malibu Arts Festival, Malibu, CA

June 23, 2002 
Art Meditation Workshop/ Guided by Ai-lin.
Montecito, CA

Apr to May 2002.                


Onion Gallery, North Hills, CA.
Solo show, “Gathering.”
Artist Talk and Opening, Apr 14, 2002.
 “Healing Through Art:  Gathering the Inner Voice.”

Feb to June 2002.                .

La Cupola (ristorante), Oak Park, CA
Rotating  show to showcase artist’s assemblages
Dec 2001 to April 2002   American Express, Irvine, CA.
Solo show, “Unraveling the Mysteries.”

Dec 2001  Ghost Fleet Gallery, Nags Head, NC.
Group show sponsored by Icarus International 
Celebrating the mysteries and beauty of flight.

Dec 2001 to present.   Frames By You Gallery, Thousand Oaks, CA.
Dec 1999 to Apr 2000  Mad River Post (media center), San Francisco, CA.
Apr 2000 to Apr 2002  Holistic Resource Center, Agoura, CA.
July to Sept 2000    Westlake Yoga Studio, Westlake Village, CA.
Jan to Mar 2000     Gold Lion Gallery, Westlake Village, CA.
Sept 1999 to Jan 2000  Ecco Gallery of Fine Craft and Fiber Art, Westlake Village, CA.
May to Aug 1999 Laguna Art-A-Fair Festival, Laguna Beach, CA.
Sept  to Dec 1999  Mischief, Montecito, CA.
1974   Art Institute of Chicago.

Media Coverage

“Law – then order is restored through art,” Ventura County Star, Aug 15, 2002.  

People – Newsmakers,” Conejo Valley Examiner, August 2002.

“Attorney turned artist in Malibu Art Festival,”  The Acorn, July 25, 2002.  

Healing Through Art,” by Kerri Hikida, Whole Life Times, May 2002.

“Artist Talk Opens Exhibit at Onion Gallery in North Hills, by Jan Sear, “Malibu Chronicle,” May/June 2002.

Profiled in education media project of Asian American Women Artists Association archived in universities and libraries nationwide.



A Message from the Artist

                I am so glad to share Ailin Art with you!  Art and the creative process gave me strength and access to my inner voice during a recent life- transforming experience.  I found a beautiful gift and I am grateful for having possibilities again.  Now I want to help others find their way!

            Join me to help build Ailin Art, a unique artistic and healing enterprise based on the transformative powers of the creative and artistic spirit, that speaks to our hearts and minds, and inspires the art of living peaceful, vibrant and balanced lives. 

           I welcome any ideas and referrals you may have for Ailin Art’s outreach program!         

We all moments of difficulty,  fear, self-doubt and contemplation.  We all have moments of exclamation, celebration and renewal. 

            Gather  the inner  voice.  Honor  it.  Embrace it.  This is our  journey through life.  

                                                                                                Warm regards,