Flo Oy Wong, a Sunnyvale, California-based mixed media installation artist, is a visual storyteller who began her career at the age of forty. Born and raised in Oakland California’s Chinatown, Wong has received numerous awards for her work, including a 1992 award from the Euphrat Museum of Art at De Anza College, a 1995 President’s Award from the Women’s Caucus for Art WCA), a 2001 Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) Award, a 2002 Kearny Street Workshop (KSW) Award, and the city of Sunnyvale’s 2007 Outstanding Contribution to the Arts Award. The KSW and AIISF Awards were bestowed on Wong for her commitment and creativity in telling the stories of Angel Island detainees from 1910 – 1950 in the landmark exhibition entitled made in usa: Angel Island Shhh. In 2002, Wong received a California Civil Liberties Public Education Program Grant, in collaboration with the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, to create the exhibition entitled 1942: Luggage From Home To Camp, a project that used the suitcase as a symbol of the internment experience.
Wong has exhibited widely on a regional, national, and international basis. In California, she has shown at the Capp Street Project, de Young Memorial Museum, the Angel Island Immigration Station, the Chinese Culture Center (San Francisco), the San Francisco Public Library, the Oakland Museum, the Euphrat Museum of Art, the 40 Acres Gallery (Sacramento), the Triton Museum, San Jose State University, the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, the Fresno Museum of Art, the Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles), and the Pacific Asia Museum (Pasadena). To celebrate Wong’s seventieth birthday in 2008 she will be mounting 2 exhibitions in Northern California, 1 in May at the San Francisco-based South of Market Cultural Center under the auspices of the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center’s United States of Asian American Festival. The other birthday anniversary exhibition will take place in October/November at the Community School of Music and Art in Mountain View.
On a national level, Wong exhibited at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, the Ethan Cohen Gallery in New York City and was included in the December 2003 online exhibition of New York’s International Center for Photography entitled Only Skin Deep, and at the Smithsonian Institution. In 2005, she had her first solo exhibition at the Flomenhaft Gallery in New York and will show in a two-person exhibit there sometime next year. Wong is a featured artist in a national traveling exhibition entitled Women Only! In Their Studios, curated by Eleanor Flomenhaft. Some of the other renowned artists in the show are Faith Ringgold, Miriam Shapiro, and Elizabeth Catlett. In 2008, Wong, along with Bettye Saar and others, will be showing in the national traveling exhibition entitled The Distaff Toolkit, curated by Rickie Solinger.
On an international level, Wong, in 1994, traveled to China to help organize the Women’s Caucus for Art’s participation at the Fourth International Women’s Conference. Wong co-coordinated and showed in Tell Me a Story, a WCA women’s exhibition in Huairou, China. She also moderated a panel on Chinese American women artists. She has exhibited at the United States Embassies in Lusaka, Zambia, and Copenhagen, Denmark and in group exhibitions in Beijing, Hong Kong and Nagoya, Japan.
Wong has attended artist residencies, including the Bemis Center for Contempoary Art, Headlands Center for the Arts, Djerassi, Montalvo, and Art Omi in New York. From 1996 to 2003, she was a teaching resident at the Artist Diversity Resident Program at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. She has been a visiting artist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, the University of Michigan, and Ohio State University. In 2004 and 2005, she traveled to the People’s Republic of China to present her art at colleges and universities in Beijing, Xian, and Shanghai with other U. S. artists including Lenore Chinn, Sue Knight, and Roger Shimomura.
A co-founder of the Northern California-based Asian American Women Artists Association, Wong also served as a national board member for the Women’s Caucus for Art from 1991 to 1997. She has served on the boards of the Arts Council Silicon Valley, the Euphrat Museum of Art, the Asian Heritage Council, and the Asian Americans for Community Involvement.
Writings and images of Wong’s art have appeared in many news outlets and publications, including the Arcadia Images of America books on Angel Island, Oakland Chinatown, Chinese in San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley, San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, Prairie Schooner, Yellow Light: The Flowering of Asian American Arts, Art Asia Pacific, Asian American Politics: Law, Participation, and Policy, Women Artists of the American West, the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and the San Francisco-based SPARK KQED television program.
i really like the piece (8th or 9th) made of traditional paper money with gold leaf on it. it's been facinating how many artists have used this element in their art in such diverse ways. i just bought a package of 100 in 99 ranch market, and have been a bit weary of its " bad luck" when handling it. i am probably going to try painting and printing on it to achieve a multiple and repeat for an installation. thank you for sharing your installation with us, they are great works! where was the exhibition held?
It was very nice knowing you through out the Central Subway Project. We would like to congratulate you having a solo at SomArt Culture Center. Lauren & I will sure check it out soon. Thanks for inviting us.