1969, 910 x 1210mm, Acrylic on board
Born in Ōtaki, Brent Wong moved with his family to Te Whanganui-a-Tara in 1949. For many years, he lived in a flat above his uncle’s shop in Vivian Street, in the heart of the city. From his window, he had a perfect view of the rooftops and architectural ornaments of inner city buildings. Many became recurring motifs in his later paintings. By 1968, the distinctive combination of buildings and landscape for which he is best known was firmly established.
A self-taught painter, Wong rejects any attempt at symbolic interpretations of his work, believing that the reappearing motifs were chosen by him merely as compositional devices. However, the combination of unpeopled, barren landscapes, incongruously placed buildings, and monolithic hovering constructions amid sculptural clouds invite the viewer to try to penetrate the artist’s inner world.