Tina Keng Gallery (Taipei) is pleased to present Tony Wong Recent Works, which will be on view from December 3 to 27 (opening reception: December 3, 4:30-7:00pm). Wong presents the themes of each of his series in three different ways: through drawing, painting, and sculpture. Often starting with pastel on paper as a preliminary work, and then continuing to oil on canvas and then sculpture, or even working on the latter two simultaneously, the three versions of each work present Wong with opportunities to discover new aspects of the subject, in the transition between the two-dimensional and the three-dimensional.
Wong’s new work alludes to creation myths and to Chinese poetry about love and sorrow. For instance, in the drawing and painting entitled Cocoon(2010), a nude figure exhales white air from his mouth, referencing the creation story of the Pangu legend in which Pangu’s breath became the wind and the clouds, both elements of nature used to create the world. It also references the Chinese myth of the goddess Nüwa, who molded and crafted human figures from mud and gave them life by blowing her breath into them. The title of the work Cocoon(2010) may also be linked to the renowned love poem Wu-ti(Untitled) by the Tang dynasty poet Li Shang-yin, in which the long silk of acocoon mentioned in one of the versessuggests Li's desperate and continuing thoughts of his loved one.
Others contain the implication that like a dream, life is short and illusory. The painting Day Dreamer(2011), for instance, depicts a man with slightly closed eyes who is peacefully lost in the contemplation of his own world. Wong borrows from the Chinese legend Chuang Chou meng-tiehin which the ancient philosopher Chuang-tzu dreams of becominga butterfly, and awakes to find himself uncertain of what he has just experienced.In his work, Wong makes use of the ambiguous space between what is real and what belongs to the realm of dreams, by placing a butterfly above and a growing plant springing from inside of the figure’s head.
Born in Guangdong, China (1948), and has been living and working in New York since 1977. 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, representing the U.S.A. in the 41st Venice Biennial (United States Pavilion),andmost recently he has held a solo show at the Leo Gallery in Shanghai, China (2009) and participated in the group show Popping Up: Revisiting the Relationship between 2D & 3Dat the Hong Kong Arts Centre in Hong Kong, China (2010).