Lily Wong

Wong, who considers these works more cerebral than her former multi-narrative Sumi Ink on paper scenes, is fascinated by the intersections of temptation and tenderness, loss and love, and impulse and curiosity.

—  Kapp Kapp's Press Release for Lily Wong's show, "Built for Love". 2020.


Keep On Keeping On. 2020. Image from artist's website.

Ants crawling around, flesh-like utensils, animalistic feeding frenzies all swirl in the surrealist world Lilly creates in her ink and acrylic works. It is one that on the surface might seem nightmarish but upon closer inspection reveals scenes that negotiate the very tender feelings of love, loss, and temptation. The central figure in her works seems to take up space unknowingly; the small gestures at odds with the figure’s awkward proportions. The rendering of body in Lily’s practice asks for its own consideration, offering alternative references of female bodies into the lexicon of Asian-diasporic art.

In Pinched, the central figure is framed in a scenic mountainside as in a picturesque instagram post. But the scene is interrupted by hands squeezing the figure inward while other hands seem to try to claw outward. The gesture highlights a tension; of being in and out, of wanting to be outside or in, online or off, of separation and human touch. It is a feeling that is at once an internal struggle and one that extends globally as the world grapples with the pandemic and 2020 anxiety. 


I Try. 2020. Image from artist's website.

Related Content


The Essential Artists You Need to Know Right Now

Apr 2020

Y — A — 2020