Huang Ming-Chang is too gracious in asking me to write a few words for his exhibition. This is a domain far from my own expertise, whether from a theoretical, aesthetic or academic point of view.
I am nevertheless emboldened by an enduring real-life reference in both my creative practice and my appreciation of others' work: the relationship between food and us humans.
Every human is intrinsically linked with food. To sustain ourselves, we must constantly supply our bodies with nourishment. Everyone carries out this task every single day. Those who are better off do so with gourmet cuisine;those in meager conditions exhaust ways to overcome hunger even if it means scavenging in the trashcans. But from a different level, there are also the few food specialists and scholars who dedicate themselves to the study of nutrition. They know the food we eat can be broken down into elements like proteins, fats and carbohydrates, and they are versed, too,
in their molecular structures. They have mastery over a terribly specialized field of which most people are ignorant. However, nutritionists and the mob alike must all eat. Suppose a handful of  nutritionists and a group of homeless are all eating the same popular staple of a lunch box sold by Taiwan Railways. Naturally, the former would be able to calculate the meal's caloric content and nutritional functions based on the weight of the rice and side dishes contained within. After the two groups have consumed the same meal, however, would their digestive systems absorb the food any differently on account of their varying knowledge of the meal's nutritional value? Say, the nutritionists would be able to thotoughly digest the nutrients,while the homeless are no better off than they were before they are the meal? The answer is most befinitely negative.
It is my personal opinion that perhaps in the same vein, artistic convictions and their end products do not necessarily have to be appraised using theories or appreciated through knowledge of these theories. If that is untrue, then there is no value in holding an art exhibition for the public. At least in the case of Huang Ming-Chang, his paintings are readily appreciable by audiences of all age and all walks of life. Only artwork as universal as his can become an educational medium for the general public. A society, formed by the masses, can only become cultivated as a whole if the masses have frequent exposure to quality educational media. Suppose we are endowed with a thousand fine artists whose oeuvres are incomprehensible to the public. If you are lucky enough to befriend a featured painter, the artist may accompany you through his or her show and elucidate the meaning of each blotch of white or somber yellow, or the fusing of Expressionist and post-Deconstructivist idioms... When we appreciate a painting, we look with our eyes or read with our hearts, so sometimes well-meaning explanations by the author only cause more confusion. Suppose there are a thousand great artists like that in a society-a sizeable fraction. Despite that, these artists and their esoteric work would never contribute to raising the society's level of cultivation.
An individual accumulates more and memories in the process of growing up. Then as he ages, the  memories fade along with the radiance of life, starting with the most recent ones. Ask him what he ate last night-ha cannot recall. But ask about his childhood  memories, and they are remarkably vivid in his mind. I call this phenomenon ''forgetting in reverse''. If the last memory remaining were associated with a person, it would likely be about a grandmother or mother; with a hometown landscape, it would be of a rice paddy for someone in his seventies or eighties like myself-especially a harvest-ready paddy. When I look at the paddy field, which Huang has painted one grain at a time, all the memories stashed in the deepest placed in my head are churned into the open. I am overcome with an incredible sense of warmth and endearment. For some strange reason, I begin to wish for solitude so my heart may freely indulge in this moment of tempestuous reverberation.
I am reminded of a nursery rhyme written form a sparrow's perspective as it bursts into song at the sight of a harvest-ready paddy:

The month of July, the rice ripens, a field of sweet aromatic kernel; One paddy, two paddies, patch after patch stretch over the field. The sun shines, the crop yellow, golden waves roll in the breeze. Catch the wind, ride the waves, let's feast and frolic in the gilt parcels. Come! Come! This is prime time to indulge on the cereal. Chirp,  chirp,  chirp-chatter- chirp.

This kind of thought and picture would not have surfaced if rice paddies did not arouse such indelible impression and emotion in me. And because of those indelible  impression and childhood  memories, reading Huang's <Paddyfield> series conjures, for me, the image of several children gleaning strayed grains in a freshly harvested paddy under the scorching sun. Then,the image flips to that of The Gleaners by Millet, although the gleaning he depicted involved wheat grains instead. The next point of association in my head is the chime of church bells in his The Angelus,and then the boom of temple bells and drums from my own village. I can see Grandma put down the straw sandals she is weaving, close her palms and break into a chant.
Imagination has always transcended time and space, and everyone has a different experience growing up. But for our generation, rice paddies represent a shared memory. We have borne witness to their gradual disappearance in Taiwan, and in turn the disappearance of so-called ''rice-eating culture''. Viewing  Huang's <Paddyfield> series has stirred my heart into frenzy. Maybe someone would find my reverie too extraneous, nut I beg to differ. I think it gives credence to the depth of his artworks, which communicate with superficial and formal compositions, hues, tones, layers and textures something in addition to intuitive aesthetics-they communicate the emotions of the author. Sometimes occurring without the author's knowledge, this quality often turns into the very life of the artwork.
Some may mock ma as being malodramatic: ''Wouldn't you get a more accurate picture of a rice paddy with a photo? ''Indeed. But neuroscience has also revealed that even with identical objects, the difference between handmade and machine-fabricated products generate different effects after our brains have processed the neural signals. To give an example, a story told by mother to child gets sent to the child's right brain if it were told in person, and to the left one if replayed via an audio recorder. The experience either helps enhance the child's future creativity or gets accumulated as knowledge. Likewise, a rice paddy from a photograph versus a hand-drawn one proceeds, after being deciphered by our eyes, either to the left or right brain, respectively. Furthermore, a paddy from a photo is the flashing product of the camera shutters, while one depicted in a painting, especially when it is a seeding paddy, has been reared by the artist grain by grain. Paints that have the ability to touch people's hearts most certainly carry a wealth of positive traits; such is the work of Huang Ming-Chang. This is only my humble opinion.