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Portraits of an Artist

Vancouver Province Newspaper (Vancouver BC) interview:
Portraits of an Artist: Pencil in a visit to Art Beatus and its special works
Hans Ongsansoy
, Thursday, August 5, 2010

Janice Wong Drawing

This week's Portraits of an Artist is a special one because we get to feature work at one of our favourite galleries in the city: Art Beatus.

A small gallery with a focus on contemporary Asian works, Art Beatus feels like a secret you can share with your closest friends. This is, in part, due to its unconventional location inside the downtown office building located at 808 Nelson Street.
But, once you find the gallery tucked away in Suite 108, the secret will definitely be out.

The gallery's current show is Line Up!, a four-artist group exhibition with a special focus on drawing. Pieces range from pencil crayon drawings and vinyl (intaglio) prints to pencil sketches and sumi ink drawings.

The latter are the specialty of Janice Wong, who uses sumi ink to create pieces that are playful yet meditative. They also bear a resemblance to the symbols used in music theory, which Wong is happy to discuss in our now-weekly Q&A. Enjoy.

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Not Everything All at Once


Janice Wong image

Open Studio (Toronto ON) catalogue essay excerpt:
Not Everything All at Once
James Koester June 2005

Janice Wong's works are exquisitely crafted compositions of colour and geometry that look like science and feel like
a dream; schematics of systems floating in larger systems; hybrids of light and sound and other things we don't know.
They are at once rational and mystical, mathematical and organic, scientific and spiritual, dynamic and meditative. They are calm and beautiful things that seduce and invite the viewer in where the final transcendence happens; we start to think about the relationships between the lines and the shapes and the blurs and the colours and the composition, and by our nature start to organize and make sense of these equations, this code, this language. We stay long enough to think about these things because the work is curious and beautiful and we feel its sincerity. Curious, beautiful and sincere; there is truth there.



Review: Split Graphic Biennial 2007

Splitgraphic 2007 (Split, Croatia) Catalogue Essay excerpt:
Split Kao Sjeciste Hrvatske i Medunarodne Graficke Scene
Lavorka Magas Autumn 2007
The following is a translation of a portion of the original Croatian text

Although realized with minimal financial resources (this was only reflected in a modestly produced catalogue), SplitGraphics gathered a number of international artists. Not only did it present a view into different segments of Croatia's art production, (the Split art scene and its generation of younger artists) it also gave the public the possibility to meet some relevant names in the world graphic scene. The graphic micro cosmos of Canadian artist Janice Wong, whose solo exhibition was one of the events at SplitGraphics 3, is characterized by the use of colourful visual shapes--reminiscent of the works of Miro and Klee--rhythmically distributed on a spare background, creating interesting and playful abstract compositions whose titles suggest certain connections with subjects and ideas from the real world.

translation: Emil + Lajla Nuhic



Paintings Evoke Spirituality


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The Regina Leader-Post (Regina, SK) review:
Wong's Paintings Evoke Spirituality from Intricacy
Greg Beatty Wednesday, December 31, 1997

Janice Wong: Fragments Rosemont Art Gallery

In my profile of author Joanne Gerber (Dec 6), I spoke about the possibility of a person deriving spiritual sustenance from visiting an art gallery. This exhibition of hauntingly beautiful paintings by Janice Wong offers us precisely this opportunity.
Composed of three suites--two executed on Chinese Joss paper, one on aromatic cedar panels--the works depict found objects, (leaves, flowers, pottery shards, wishbones), collected by Wong during her exploration of two sites with personal and familial significance, (the original location of Nanaimo's Chinatown and the northern Saskatchewan lake district near Prince Albert).
Nominally, these paintings function as landscapes. But instead of offering viewers the type of sweeping vistas ordinarily associated with the genre, Wong focuses on the area immediately surrounding her feet--the locus of her corporeal connection with the earth. In both Joss series, Wong scattered select objects on a horizontal surface and painted them, using the intuitive arrangement of colour and shape as a vehicle for exploring the interrelationship between time, space, memory and place.

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