WONG, Brent;

Trade Winds

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Acrylic on board
910 x 1210mm

Megan Dunn has written, ‘[1969] was the year Apollo 11 landed on the moon. Coverage of the landing on videotape was flown from Sydney to Wellington by the RNZAF for broadcast across the country. Closer to home, the Nippon clip-ons were added to Auckland Harbour Bridge widening the lanes from four to eight. Historically, the trade winds were used by the captains of sailing ships to cross oceans, establishing new trade routes between the continents. The Escher-like structure in Wong’s Trade Winds suggests an altered relationship to gravity. The sky can now be crossed like the ocean. A new trade route has opened up.’

This work was included in the 1969 Group Show. It may also have formed part of the Brent Wong’s first solo show, which was held at the Rothmans Gallery, Te Whanganui-a-Tara, that same year. Neil Rowe has written, ‘The impact of these paintings, with their haunting enigmatic quality, highly original imagery and surrealistic bite, coupled with the excellence of their draughtsmanship, excited extravagant critical attention: and overnight established the previously unknown Brent Wong as an important painter in the local context.’[1]


[1] Neil Rowe, ‘Brent Wong’, Art New Zealand 12 (Winter 1979).

Further Info Hide Info


Trade Winds / 1969 / Note / paintwork between varnishes / Liquitex on grey acrylic base [verso]

Exhibition History

The Group Show, CSA Gallery, Ōtautahi, 15 to 29 November 1969, cat. no. 18


Fletcher Trust Collection, purchased from Art+Object, Tāmaki Makaurau, 26 November 2015, lot 101

Private collection, purchased from Webb’s, Tāmaki Makaurau, 5 December 2006, lot 64

Private collection, purchased from Webb’s, Tāmaki Makaurau, 29 May 1996, lot 15