Tony Wong was born in Guangdong, China, and lived in New York from 1977 to his death in May 2012. Wong received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and obtained his Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees at the University of California in Berkeley, California. His work has been included in numerous exhibitions worldwide. In 1984, he participated in Paradise Lost Paradise Regained: American Visions of the New Decade,curated by Marcia Tucker for the United States Pavilion of the 41st Venice Biennial. At the time of his death, he had just completed his solo exhibition at the Tina Keng Gallery in Taipei, Taiwan.
Often starting with pastel on paper as a preliminary work, Tony continues with oil on canvas and then sculpture, sometimes even working on both simultaneously. The surfaces of Tony’s work is coated layer upon layer with oil paint, as if the colors are constantly shifting in movement, with themes of solitude, existence, change, love, pain, and loss, working across mediums, in a way to understand different perspectives, which is not unlike his knowledge of cultures, and the experience of living between them.
This week-long memorial exhibition is being held in remembrance of Tony, on view from August 18 to 26 (opening reception: August 18, 4:30 p.m.), presenting various works from different periods of his artistic trajectory, and revisiting his studio through video, capturing a glimpse of his presence. A gossip room is also prepared for the exhibition—something that Tony loved to do, though more discreetly, of course—if you have once shared a smoke, a coke, or a good laugh with Tony, we invite you to join us in remembering and celebrating the life of Tony Wong.