Artist Statement

Born in Taiwan I moved to the U.S. when I was five. I was a quiet, curious, and observant child who liked to read and think.

As an ex-engineer, I attended the Academy of Art College (MFA Product Design). I have created marble toys, construction sets, sculptural blocks, mobiles, and paper sculptures.

I am interested in the creative process. Like a child at play, I create abstract paintings by experimenting with paint on canvas. I drip, drop, scrap, brush, print paint onto the canvas, hoping for the best until a composition or a story appears.

Painting is my meditation. It keeps me grounded in the present moment where reality is happening. My paintings do not reflect reality. They often depict imaginary places or memories.

The themes of my paintings are memory, quiet places, impermanence, movement, energy, despair, and hope. My influences are Buddhism, Minimalism, Isamu Noguchi, Zao Wou-Ki, Fong Chung-Ray, Alexander Calder, J.M.W. Turner, Gustav Klimt, Richard Diebenkorn, Agnes Martin, and Paul Klee.

My interest in the textile and ceramic arts sometimes appear in my paintings.

I am drawn towards Eastern thinking and aesthetics, especially Zen Buddhism and Japanese art and design because they free my imagination to wander and play without constraint.

I want to create thought-provoking, memorable experiences for others using art and design.

When not making art, I like to read and think deep thoughts about art, design, and life.

The painting is displayed at the French Restaurant Chez Philipp

View a portfolio of James Ong’s work.

Artists Portfolio