Who is Matthew Wong?
Discover more about Matthew Wong and Van Gogh as his source of inspiration. (Photo: Matthew Wong © 2023 Matthew Wong Foundation)
The work of the Chinese-Canadian artist Matthew Wong (1984-2019) is dynamic, colourful and expressive. Of the many artists who inspired him, Vincent van Gogh was the most significant. This exhibition invites you to discover more about Wong’s work and his artistic connection with Van Gogh.
This exhibition explores the artistic and personal connection between the two artists in more detail. Wong saw his own life reflected in that of Van Gogh, and once said:
‘I see myself in him. The impossibility of belonging in this world.’
Van Gogh and Wong both had a lengthy search to find their calling in life, which ultimately proved to be painting. Wong even saw it as his ‘last resort’. Both artists struggled with their mental health, resulting in tragic, untimely deaths. Although there are many similarities, each created a body of highly individual work that is highly personal and emotionally charged.
Unlike Van Gogh, Wong’s talent was more widely recognised during his short and tempestuous career. Barely five years after he made his first work, a renowned museum acquired a painting by Wong, and many notable collectors followed suit.
Matthew Wong | Vincent van Gogh: Painting as a Last Resort is the first retrospective of Wong’s work in Europe.
‘One of the most talented painters of his generation.’
The New York Times, 2019
Especially for the exhibition, Mals Media created a film introducing Matthew Wong. Exclusive visuals and interviews with the artist’s friends and colleagues bring you closer to Wong. What drove him as an artist, and what made him so special?
Experience how it feels to take your time to truly focus on an artwork. View Wong’s Path to the Sea in silence, in the dedicated gallery on the top floor.
This exhibition is accompanied by a unique audio tour: celebrated podcaster and theatre maker Simon Heijmans wrote a poetic audio story especially for the exhibition. In a ‘Letter to Matthew’, he invites visitors on a personal voyage of discovery through the exhibition.
The audio tour is available in Dutch and English, and is bookable when purchasing an online ticket. If you would like to discover the exhibition in a different language, listen to the most important gallery texts in one of the eleven available languages.
Matthew Wong also loved music. His favourite artists included Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix and Drake. Listen to the playlist to discover Wong's favourite songs.
Create your own fantasy room, inspired by the many rooms that Matthew Wong painted. You will practice using different media, including acrylics and ink, and the dot technique, which Wong also used.
Delve deeper into the exhibition, and discover the stories hidden behind the artworks. Book a private guided tour of the exhibition, or join a guided tour on the day.
The exhibition catalogue Wong | Vincent van Gogh: Painting as a Last Resort explores the connection between Matthew Wong and Vincent van Gogh, bridging a 130-year gap in art history. The book is available in Dutch and English.
The gallery texts for this exhibition are now also available in an accessible PDF. Prefer not to read from a screen? A booklet with the collated gallery texts, printed in large font, is available at the Information Desk in the Atrium.
After 1 September 2024 this exhibition will travel to Kunsthaus Zürich. The exhibition Matthew Wong – Vincent van Gogh will there be on display from 20 September 2024 until 26 January 2025.