Matthew Wong

Matthew Wong
Between Two Cliffs
Ink on xuan paper.
17 1/4 x 17 inches (43.8 x 43.2 cm)
Gift of Monita and Raymond Wong, in honor of their son, Matthew Wong.
Photography by Alex Yudzon, courtesy of Matthew Wong Foundation. © 2023 Matthew Wong Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Matthew Wong studied photography but turned to painting in 2013. By the time of his death six years later, at the age of 35, he had won critical acclaim for his vibrant and colorful landscapes and interior scenes. This drawing exemplifies the mix of Eastern and Western influences that characterizes his art. Two high rocky mountains evoke Chinese painting while the dot pattern of the starry sky and other abstract linear patterns reflect Wong's interest in American and European modernism. The small, lonely figure at the bottom of the tree and the ladder leading to a barely-visible door on the side of the mountain at right relate to the Chinese conception of nature as a retreat from the world. The presence of the figure also recalls the Romantic image of humankind dwarfed by nature--a recurrent motif in Wong's work, which is often tinged with melancholy.

The artist; Monita and Raymond Wong, Edmonton.
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