At the beginning of Chang’s (how he is currently referred to) career as an artist, he devoted himself to painting, but later discovered in photography both the expression of his personality and a way to document life in Cuba. Chang’s work focuses in areas within Cuban society that are generally ignored in Cuban documentary photography. Themes like the rodeo, gay culture, and bodybuilding are reflected in his work, always portrayed with an artistic, conceptual vision that enriches the image.
In the quest for discovering a personal style in documentary photography, Chang started experimenting with black and white film (which he still uses), influenced by the work of masters like Cartier-Bresson, Davidson, Salgado, Koudelka, Abbas, and Eugene Smith. More recently, in the digital era, Chang has moved also to complex compositions with colors, forms and textures, with the work of color contemporary pioneers as Webb, Lachapelle, Eggleston, and Alan Harvey as important references. Chang believes that attending important workshops has been significant in his development as a photographer, considering those delivered in Cuba in 2012 and 2013 by Stephen Dupone and Alex Webb, respectively, as well as that done in the USA in 2014 by Elizabeth Krist, editor of National Geographic.
Chang has been awarded the creation scholarships Raúl Corrales (Havana, 2009), Red Gate Residency (Beijing, 2013), and Havana Culture 3rd Edition) (Havana, 2013).
Chang has shown his work in some 30 exhibits, being among his favorites the personal shows “Hidden Reality” (Havana, 2009), “Longevity”, (Havana, 2010), “Through my Eyes” (Sidney, 2013), “Sacrifice” (Havana 2009), “Borderless” (Havana 2012, and Oregon 2013), and “The Water, The Feminine, The Masculine”, (Havana, 2013), “Cuba Alive” (Prague 2016), and “Variables” (Havana 2017).Also the collective shows with the Cuban photographer Leysis Quesada at the Calpoly University (San Jose, 2013), and other exhibits at the Photo Visura Festival (NY, 2010), the Cuba Collaboration Event at the Emerald Art Center (USA, 2012), the Gulliver Event at the Freies Museum Berlin (Germany 2012), and the Pingyao Festival (China, 2013).
Chang has lectured at the Cuban Ludwig Foundation (2007) and the Cuban Writers and Artists Association (2009/2010), to Art students at the Higher Institute of Art (Havana, 2011), and to Santa Fe Photographic Workshops and National Geographic groups (Havana, 2011-2017). He has also collaborated with Santa Fe Photographic Workshops programs in Cuba as an assistant since 2010.
Chang has collaborated as an assistant with Santa Fe Photographic Workshops in Cuba since 2010. His website is http://arienchang.com/.