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Exhibition Matthew Wong | Vincent van Gogh

26 March - 2024
by Vincent Moleveld


The artistic legacy of Matthew Wong (1984-2019), a Chinese-Canadian artist, is characterized by dynamism, vivid colors, and emotive expression. Among the diverse influences that shaped his artistry, Vincent van Gogh stood out as the most profound. This exhibition offers a journey into Wong's artistic realm, delving into his profound connection with Van Gogh.

In 2011, at the age of 27, Matthew Wong embarked on his journey in drawing and painting. Over the span of a few short years, he cultivated a distinct style marked by vibrant hues and fantastical landscapes. Van Gogh's impact on Wong's work is evident in his bold use of color, thick brushstrokes, and the intimate themes explored in his art.

This showcase intricately examines the artistic and personal parallels between the two visionaries. Wong identified with Van Gogh on a profound level, expressing:

"I see myself in him. The impossibility of belonging in this world."

Matthew Wong, The Kingdom, 2017 © Matthew Wong Foundation c/o Pictoright Amsterdam 2023

Both artists traversed a prolonged quest to discover their purpose, ultimately finding solace and expression in painting. For Wong, art became his "last resort," mirroring Van Gogh's own journey. Despite grappling with mental health challenges that led to tragic, premature ends, both artists left behind bodies of work that are deeply personal and emotionally resonant.

Unlike Van Gogh, Wong's talent garnered widespread recognition during his brief yet impactful career. Within a remarkably short timeframe, prestigious institutions acquired Wong's paintings, with numerous esteemed collectors following suit.

"Matthew Wong | Vincent van Gogh: Painting as a Last Resort" stands as the inaugural retrospective of Wong's oeuvre in Europe.

Accompanying the exhibition are various activities, including:

Introduction Film:
Produced by Mals Media exclusively for the exhibition, this film provides an insightful glimpse into Matthew Wong's life and artistry. Through exclusive visuals and interviews with Wong's associates, viewers gain deeper insight into what fueled his creativity and what set him apart as an artist.

Header image: Matthew Wong, Unknown Pleasures, 2019, Museum of Modern Art, New York © 2023 Matthew Wong Foundation / Pictoright Amsterdam, 2023. Digital image courtesy of MoMA