Ivan Wong’s multifaceted oeuvre is built on a distinct aesthetic lucidity. Though varied across a range of meDIA, Wong’s series possess an intelligible connection between sound and vision. From the reinterpretation of readily available materials from the industrial world as monochromatic, painterly surfaces, to the representation of the culture of his youth through surfboards as sculptural, totemic objects, to created environments using sound as the primary medium, Wong lends equivalency to seeing and hearing as he champions the very materials of his works' creation. For Wong, seeing is hearing and hearing is seeing.
Wong was born in 1955 in San Diego, California and has been equally devoted to art and music throughout his career. He began his studies in musical theatre at the age of eight at the California Conservatory of Dramatic Arts. In 1978 he received an A.A. in painting from Grossmont College before continuing his studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. When artist and professor Howard Warshaw passed away shortly after his arrival, this determined his decision to transfer to the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1981 he received his B.F.A. in painting from UCLA where he studied with David Hockney, Vito Acconci, George Herms, Laddie John Dill and Alexis Smith. While at UCLA he was the bassist in L.A.’s first homegrown ska band, The Boxboys, which is credited with establishing the L.A. ska mod revival in 1979 and 1980. In 1984 he moved to New York where he continued his painting studies at Columbia University and toured internationally as the bassist in bands Little Shining Man and Voodoo X. Wong HAS ALSO BEEN a dedicated printmaker, producing hundreds of books with renowned artists and designers of our time, including Irving Penn, DORIS BRY FOR Georgia O’Keeffe, David LaChapelle, Albert Watson, Eiko Ishioka, Madonna, RICHARD BENSON, Simon Doonan and Fabien Baron.
Recent solo exhibitions include Chromium US 101 at the Palos Verdes Art Center, California (2016) and Paul Smith Los Angeles (2016), and Chromium at Brown Gallery, Los Angeles (2016). In 2017 he formed Ivan Wong’s Plastic Products, a musical ensemble founded on the principles of sound that created the soundscape for ACKIA, a 14-hour-LONG avant-garde sound performance for which Wong serveS as artistic director AND NARRATOR. ACKIA debuted at Idyllwild Arts, California to open their annual Native American Arts Festival (2017). His latest solo work is a painting installation entitled Monster on the ocean in Montoloking, New Jersey (2017).
Wong currently lives and works in New York City.
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