HARRY WONG

New Zealand Chinese artist Wong Sing Tai, aka Harry Wong, is a painter, printmaker, and film-maker.

After he won the first Benson and Hedges Art Award in 1968, Colin McCahon described one of his works as New Zealand’s “first Pop Painting”. Yet Wong now employs his signature graphic, hard-edged style now for solely abstract concerns.

Wong is on a clear mission to resolve some of those painterly concerns he had explored in the late 1970’s. “From a painting perspective, the content of colour, balance, concrete form and subtlety are concepts that excite me.”

Certainly one of the earliest in New Zealand to paint onto perspex, Wong returns to this 20th century support which signals his Pop heritage and his interest in its transparency and effect on colour.

Wong, the older brother of artist Brent Wong, was one of 10 artists featured in the exhibition section of the Auckland City Art Gallery Ten Big Paintings Project which also featured work by Ralph Hotere, Colin McCahon, Don Driver, and Milan Mrkusich. 

His vivid geometric abstraction nods appreciatively to such Modernist Abstractionists as, Klee, Malevich and Charchoune. Wong’s paintings and screen-prints are represented in public collections including Te Papa, Auckland City Art Gallery, the University of Auckland Collection and the Hocken.