Ed Wong-Ligda is currently an associate professor of Art in the Grand Valley State University Department of Art and Design. He received his M.F.A. in Painting from the University of Tulsa, and studied at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
Painting, for me, is about observing individuals. The way a person walks, the way she holds an envelope, reacts to an unexpected gust of wind or smiles at an irregular thought. How he taps his foot during conversation or glances sideways at beauty. It's about sitting alone and thinking about everything, rethinking, rearranging and reducing my thoughts into a single truth and then explaining that truth in paint through an accumulation of lies.
Painting is constant failure. The ideas I form always require more skill, subtlety and experience than I possess. Consequently, every work is filled with passages where I've had to settle for mediocrity. Without this constant failure, though, I would lose interest and stop painting. So, for my art, failure is success, and success would be the ultimate failure.
My philosophy of art is that it should be accessible to everyone: physically, visually, emotionally, and intellectually. To achieve this I paint realistic forms within simple narratives for the youngest viewers. Layered upon this are more subtle gestures, juxtapositions, and symbols from art, literature, the theater and various cultures that more complex and mature minds can appreciate. My art usually reflects personal interests in people, their relationships to art, design, the natural world and to each other, their levels of awareness and their roles in society.