Chang Yu (Sanyu) (Chinese, 1901-1966) was born in Sichuan, China. He studied painting at home with his father and later took calligraphy lessons with the renowned Sichuan calligrapher, Zhao Xi (Chinese, 1867-1948). In 1917, he enrolled in the Shanghai Art Academy, then in 1921, he departed for Paris to study art at the Grande Chaumière Academy (Académie de la Grande Chaumière). Chang returned to China briefly before moving to New York. Later in life, he permanently relocated to France and died in Paris in 1966.
Influenced by the traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy lessons from his youth, Chang combines Eastern and Western aesthetic modes of expression in his art. He often worked with different materials in the contours of his figures, using Chinese brushes and inks to experiment with distortion and abstraction.