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Artist's Biography: Kevin Wong

Kevin Wong was born and raised in Berkeley, CA. His father worked for the University of California at Berkeley and instilled in all of his children a deep love for the culture and art that the campus represented. Both his mother and father are accomplished artists and work in painting, jewelry, stained glass, ceramics and photography.

Kevin began his artistic education at home when he was quite young and then was enrolled in art classes at Studio One in Oakland, at the age of 8.

Although his artistic interests were, and remain, painting and photography, he studied anthropology in college. In the '70s, the example of Jacques Cousteau sparked an interest in scuba diving. He became a professional scuba diver and eventually opened a dive shop, which he owned for ten years. His love of photography and diving provided a new opportunity to explore his creative and adventurous spirits. He became an award winning underwater photographer.

Eleven years of living in South America, provided a new venue to develop his anthropological interests and provide a great landscape for his photography. His portfolio extended to cover the social, natural, and physical landscapes of the Amazonian jungle, the Inter-Andean plateau, and the tropical coast of Ecuador.

Now living in the hi-desert town of Joshua Tree, CA, Kevin Wong has found the desert provides inspiration to his imagination. His desert landscapes include the abandoned homesteads of human occupation. Weathered steel, wood and stone display the same "desert patina" that can be found in the faces of the portraits of his friends and neighbors. His painted furniture is bright and whimsical, taking clues from his many trips to Mexico. Instead of painting wood burro saddles in Ecuador, he now paints chairs and tables in this desert yard.

"I pick up my inspiration from where I am. I try to fit into the locale, and see what the locals see, rather than from the view of a tourist. And many times, I will not press the shutter when I see a remarkable picture unfolding. I would rather see the whole scene, the foreground, the background and the interactions of the participants, than the limited vision through the viewfinder. My eyes and my brain make better images than any camera."

 

Articles: Kevin Wong

UCR - Learn For Life
UCR - One of Extension's Rising Stars
From the Deep Sea to the Hi-Desert

 

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