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Martin Wong: Human Instamatic at BAMPFA
September 20, 2017 - December 10, 2017
This exhibition surveys the career of Chinese American painter Martin Wong (1946–1999), from his early years painting street portraits in Northern California—where he dubbed himself the “Human Instamatic”—to his role in New York’s gritty downtown art scene in the 1970s and 1980s and his late work in San Francisco before his untimely death from AIDS.
Wong was born in Portland, Oregon, and grew up near San Francisco’s Chinatown. After a year at UC Berkeley, he studied ceramics at Humboldt State University in Eureka. During the 1970s, dividing his time between Eureka and San Francisco, he made scroll poems in idiosyncratic calligraphy and designed sets for psychedelic experimental theater groups the Cockettes and Angels of Light. More Info