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Wong & Cross Exhibition


Born in New Zealand in 1945, Brent Wong spent the early part of his life in the capital, moving north to the main commercial centre for a time, before settling in Auckland’s West coast in 1989.

Brent Wong’s work has variously been described as “surrealistic”, “realist” and “visionary’”. While “‘surrealism” and “realism” may be attributed to certain phases of his work, the artist believes that there is a high level of symbolic content in most of his paintings - reflecting autobiographical material.

Over the past twenty years his interest in the meditative nature of the static image has Deepened. In 2008, Brent abandoned painting to explore music composition, a field that has interested him since the beginning of his painting career.

Mark Cross was born in 1955 in Auckland. While studying precision engineering after leaving school, he took up painting and as such is self-taught. At the age of 23, he moved with his young family to Liku, Niue Island to devote more time to his craft and vision. To find a market for his work, he returned to New Zealand in 1982.

Employing elements of the natural landscape, foreshore imagery and the human figure, his artwork imparts an ecological message regarding the human condition and its relationship with the environment. While largely abandoning the figure in the landscape in recent years, Cross has focused almost totally on various imagery of the place where water meets land. In collaboration with other artists, he founded the Hikulagi Sculpture Park in Niue’s rainforest in 1996, a project that is ongoing. Cross maintains studios in Niue and Northwest Auckland.

Wong and Cross have long been associated since meeting at an Auckland art competition exhibition in 1984. Early during this relationship, Wong’s minimal landscapes influenced Cross’s reduction of elements in his own landscapes and although their realist styles were very different their approach to the technical applications of paint to ground were similar. While their art styles, subject matter and indeed their art practices have diverged over the years, they still maintain a strong friendship and interest in what each other is doing.

Mark Cross 2024