Onlie Ong was born in Taiwan, he migrated to New Zealand in 1991. After he migrated to New Zealand and he took up ceramic sculpture - work that won me awards over the ensuing years, including the Portage Ceramic Awards (New Zealand) and the Gold Coast Art Awards (Australia). He has also participated in international competitions including the World Ceramic Biennale in South Korea and the International Asia-Pacific Ceramics Invitational Exhibition in Taiwan.
In 2008, a wrist injury shifted my focus to paintings. Most of my painting subjects are landscape and objects.
My art is not a pursuit of a real image, but rather what that image represents.
The objects and the scenery I create are merely tools to communicate a particular concept in my mind or to evoke a particular emotional response.
At first glance, the misplaced objects and contradictions in my paintings may seem puzzling but their purpose is to exhibit my emotional and spiritual state at the time of painting. In a way, these paintings represent my life, as they reflect on me:
Trees are not just trees per se - they can be seen as a person or persons alone.
A mountain is not a mountain necessary - it represents something strong, persistent but silent.
The concept of humans being inseparable from nature in a more abstract sense, is a common theme that runs through my paintings.
Oriental artistic thought personalised the landscape, thinking that "landscape painting" is a reflection of the artist's personality.
The clouds, fog, dead trees, huts, bridges, and running water in the landscape paintings are all totems responding to the artist's ideas, which may be freedom, loneliness, strength, and humbleness.
So when we look at a landscape painting, it’s not only the visual pleasure we perceived but also a discovery of the psychological exploration.
This is my view of landscape painting, and I also use this method to depict the landscape of New Zealand.