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[TIMELINE] Wah Ming Chang (Designer)

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  • madchinaman
    DESIGNER: Wah Ming Chang http://news.asianweek.com/news/view_article.html? article_id=e4dade3e09a395ab036b21a5974ca791 An artist from an early age, Wah Ming
    Message 1 of 1 , May 5, 2006
      DESIGNER: Wah Ming Chang
      http://news.asianweek.com/news/view_article.html?
      article_id=e4dade3e09a395ab036b21a5974ca791


      An artist from an early age, Wah Ming Chang was born in Hawai`i in
      1917 but came to San Francisco at the age of 2. His parents opened
      the HoHo Tea Room on Sutter Street and his mother's artistic nature
      made the tea room a haven for the art community. Wah would sit in
      the tearoom and sketch, encouraged by local artists. Artist Blanding
      Sloan took an interest in Chang and took him on as a student,
      teaching him how to do copper etchings and make puppets. Chang was
      the subject of much media attention and even had his own one-man
      show at a gallery in San Francisco at the age of 9. Sadly, Chang's
      mother died just two years later and Chang was taken in by his
      mentor Sloan and moved to Hollywood.

      After finishing school, Chang went to work for Disney, helping in
      making models for the animators to draw for the movie Pinocchio — at
      21, Chang was the youngest member of Disney's Effects and Models
      Department. A few years later he married his wife Glen, whom he met
      while working on a job in Texas, and they started their own studio,
      which produced educational films.

      In 1956, Chang and some colleagues began a new company called
      Project Unlimited, which turned out some of the work Chang is most
      famous for. Their first project were the effects for the 1958 Tom
      Thumb. Chang's colleagues went on to win an Oscar for their work in
      The Time Machine, an Oscar that should have gone to Chang too, but
      his name was not credited by the Academy. Other projects that Chang
      worked on were creating the Pillsbury Doughboy, effects and costumes
      for the Planet of the Apes, along with major props and costumes for
      The Outer Limits television series.

      Even after Project Unlimited folded, Chang kept working, creating
      several props and costumes for the Star Trek series, including the
      federation communicator, the tricorder, the phaser gun and the Salt
      Creature. Chang also created masks for The King and I and the
      massive headdress worn by Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra.
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