Adrian Kay Wong’s paintings offer intimate depictions of adolescence, balancing his own sentimentalities that settle between nostalgia and estrangement.
Adrian Kay Wong’s paintings offer intimate depictions of adolescence, balancing his own sentimentalities that settle between nostalgia and estrangement. Wong carefully pries meaning from what it is to grow up through investigation of familial relations—what is it to be a son, a brother, a friend, a father? The artist affectionately attempts to glorify the innocent naiveté of youth, reconciling the vibrancy of juvenility and the struggling confusion associated with growing up. “Much of the subject-matter in my paintings is drawn from my own experiences and a lot of the decision-making in my creative process alludes to those personal aspects. For instance, the exact repeating of figures, pairing of objects, and prevalence of the number ‘2’ are all pretty symbolic of my younger twin brother—a concept that I can portray both visually and metaphorically. These representations are not limited to certain meanings either: the number 2 also describes the inferiority we sometimes feel while wrestling with the conflicts in our youth. In the end, I try to have my paintings embody a sort of encapsulated or polished memory that people can interpret through their own perspective.”
Adrian Kay Wong (b. 1991) spent his childhood residing in the East Bay of California, a son to a mother from Hong Kong and a father from Macau. After receiving his BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013, he now lives and works in the much warmer and sunnier Los Angeles, CA.