Down the Wandering Road

Written by on August 31, 2012 in Art - No comments

Zen Chuang, M.D., brings life and healing to the Massachusetts area

When Zen Chuang, M.D., Raynham, MA, speaks about his passions in art and medicine, he cannot help but weave colors and concepts through his words. Stemming from his dynamic upbringing in Taiwan, Argentina and the United States, Zen is a prime example of living a vibrant, well-traveled life. Zen reflects, “The traditional Chinese culture in Taiwan encouraged me to be a renaissance person – well versed in different areas of life. Therefore my pursuit of art making and my interest in the practice of medicine feel completely natural to me. Eastern culture also fostered a sense of the individual as a small part of a larger unit – family, the community, or the greater society. This instilled in me the sense of service to a larger “self,” as an artist who may bring beauty to others’ lives, or as a physician who may bring health, happiness, or healing to my patients.”

When first deciding to pursue a career in family medicine, Zen was touched by the family philosophy of treated each person as a unique whole, greater than the sum of its parts. He envisioned his future collaborating with the forces within and without a person’s body. So that he could come to intimately know his adopted country, the United States, he became a traveling physician for many years after his residency at Brown University. Not only did this allow Zen to see the beautiful, varied terrain America has to offer but also gave him the flexibility to transpose his time between practicing and painting.

“At one point I suddenly realized that one main reason that I enjoyed each place so much was because I was a traveler, always with fresh eyes. Then I made a point to remind myself time and time again that I am ultimately a traveler in life, and that I can always enjoy life as long as I keep my fresh eyes,” muses Zen. “Every place I visited was my favorite. Being a doctor at each city gave me opportunities to learn more about the culture through very unique, intimate perspectives in addition to the usual off-time sight-seeing. Each place I was had its special draws that I enjoy in different ways.”

After his stint as a traveling physician, Zen opened up a solo family practice in Raynham, MA, where his office is a renovated colonial house surrounded by an acre-plus garden. His paintings reflect the energy and vivacity of nature, through sea and mountain sunrises and sunsets, animated fauna, and vibrant flora. Using fluid and graceful watercolors, he vicariously depicts all landscapes and terrains.

Constantly deriving inspiration from all of his surroundings, Zen find his true solace in his family practice. “My office is a renovated colonial house surrounded by an acre-plus garden. Inside this house, where I try to make my patients feel warm and comfortable, my patients have taught me so much about life. The impermanence of life is the most humbling. It along with the suffering I see in many of my patients’ makes me want to paint more ‘beautiful’ paintings to help brighten up the world. At the same time, philosophically I see my medical practice as a large piece of performance art. My office surrounded by the garden is the performance stage. I myself am the principal perforance artist, and my patients, the participating audience. Every day the show is on in an effort to make each participating patient’s life fuller, happier, and healthier.”

Zen has had solo exhibitions of his work in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. Currently, Zen’s work is represented at ThreeWheel Studios in Providence, RI, and his next work will be a fantasy picture book painting project featuring his rescue dog Cosmos traveling through the varied American terrain. You can view his entire gallery at his website: www.fromearthtosky.com

By Bethany Houston

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