The striking and seemingly inexplicable scenes of Brent Wong startled and enthralled a Wellington public in his first solo show of 1969. His exquisitely rendered visions soon took their hold nation-wide.
Born in 1945, Wong was brought up and schooled in Wellington. He studied at the Wellington Polytechnic College, however left after a year, disillusioned with the College’s move away from fine arts training. From the early 1960s onwards he drew on a number of inspirations. Among them were his local natural and architectural environment, magazine reproductions, and international artists such as Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky with their emphases on the spiritual and intuitive, the mesmerising skies of English Romantic, Joseph Mallord William Turner and the emotionally loaded and painstaking paintings of American painter Andrew Wyeth.
What has characterised Brent Wong’s paintings is his meticulous technique, the heightened realism of his landscapes and buildings and the monoliths and labyrinths which have become his signature. For the New Zealand public, these incredible combinations cast a familiar island country into a strange and new realisation.