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Devon photo by Judy Ling Wong

Judy Ling Wong
Painter Poet and Environmental Activist

First Woman in the History of China with the title of
"Master of the 3 Arts"

London-based, Judy was born in Hong Kong in 1949. She became a professional Chinese traditional painter at the age of 12. Mastering the skills of calligraphy and the carving of signature seals in 1977, she became the first woman in the history of China to be Master of the 3 Arts. To read the fascinating story of how she has integrated East West concepts in her work, read the article "Art Perfecting Itself" in the section News.

Paintings Poems and Drawings

Judy uses Chinese traditional techniques and a range of Western techniques including printmaking. Chinese art is anchored in the spiritual vocabulary of nature. Artisitic expression is deemed to be contained in the flow and surge of the meandering line. The use of space recognises the power of the empty space as equal to the space occupied by line and image.

Strongly influenced by the French tradition of Livres d'artiste (Artists' Books), Judy has adopted the use of this art form, in which the coming together of images and poems are akin to the Chinese tradition of combining painting and poetic phrases.

"Long Summer" published by The Whittington Press in 1977, with etchings and poems handset in Caslon, in a limited edition of 50, was included in the list of "The 100 Most Beautiful Books in Britain" by the National Book Leaque. It is now over 10 times its original price at over £800. The luxurious finely crafted leather-bound volumes of Harlequinade, with an edition of only 20, are now worth over £6000 each.

Recently, with the advance in digital technology Judy is aspring to make her work more accessible to all. She will be publishing some of her work as e-publications, with the option of free downloads and voluntary donations, and working with the finest digital technology to produce exquisite prints on handmade paper at reasonable costs. Watch this space!

Changing the World - Environmental Activism

For many years, Judy invested her energies into changing the world, putting her artistic endeavours aside. She poured all her creativity into her work as Director of the charity Black Environment Network. During these years, Judy took the voluntary environmental sector from a position of zero involvement with ethnic minoirities to 100%. In 2000, Judy was honoured with an OBE for pioneering ethnic minority environmental participation, and in 2007 a CBE followed, for services to heritage.

Judy is a vision caster and a major voice on policy towards social inclusion. Over the years, her contribution has included membership of the DCMS Historic Environment Executive Committee, ODPM Urban Green Spaces Task Force, National Trust Council for England and Wales, Wales Assembly Government Environmental Strategy Reference Group, Scottish Museums Council National Access and Learning Steering Group, and the IUCN/WCPA Urban Specialist Group.

She is now devoting her energies again to art while still playing a role in contributing to the advancement of society

Complexity

The complexity of Judy's involvement with the arts and her devotion to society has resulted in a rich and complex journey.

Honours

2014 Honorary Fellowship Society for the Environment HonSovEnv
2013 Honorary Fellowship Institution for Environmental Sciences HonFIES
2012 Honorary President Black Environment Network
2007 CBE Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to heritage
2005 Honorary Doctorate University of Gloucestershire HonPhD
2003 Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institution for Water and Environmental Management  HonFCIWEM


2000 OBE Queen’s Birthday Honours in recognition of her pioneering work in
establishing ethnic environmental participation
1997 Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts for contribution to contemporary environmental
thinking FRSA

CV

Present - Dividing her time between the arts and continuing to contribute through participation on committees and advisory boards.

Current involvements:
IUCN/WCPA Urban Specialist Group - Member
DEFRA Civil Society Partnership Network Core Group – Vice Chair
UNESCO UK MAB (Man and the Biosphere) Urban Forum – Vice Chair
Sowing the Seeds Network London – Chair
Countryside and Community Research Institute – Advisory Board
Campaign for Greater London National Park City – Steering Group
Campaign for Charter for Trees Woods and People – Steering Group
OPAL (Open Air Laboratories) Advisory Board Imperial College London
Aluna – Cultural Strategy Development Group

2011  Stood down from the position of Director of Black Environment Network and was made its Honorary President

Until  2011 UK Director of Black Environment Network with wide-ranging engagements in committee and advisory group work at the highest level.

1987 Established Black Environment Network focusing on involving ethnic minorities in the built and natural environment. Built up BEN as one of its Founder Members and its founding worker, and then becoming its Director. Policy work, research and project themes on the ground included the natural environment, built environment, urban design, the arts, heritage, green spaces in a socio-cultural context.

1977 Extended her traditional skills in Chinese arts to calligraphy and the carving of seals, and became the first woman in the history of China to be Master of the 3 Arts (Painting, calligraphy and seal carving). Published limited editions of poems and drawings with the Whittinton Press and under the imprint Woodstock Gallery Press.

1974  Arrived in Britain and worked as an artist (painter, contemporary dancer, and poet). Exhibited in Britain, Europe and the United States. Co-director of Woodstock Gallery, London, showing artists from all over the world. Work as a community artist (Dance Project Company, Chinese Arts for All, Electronic Focus, Arts for Everyone) brought Judy into contact with environmental, heritage and social inclusion issues.

1972 Moved to Europe. Lived and worked in West Berlin as an artist (painter)

1965 Moved to Australia. Academic Colours, Clyde School, Woodend. Nell Norris Prize in Architecture, University of Melbourne. Principal Dancer Australian Ballet Comique.

1961 Trained in Chinese traditional painting becoming a professional artist at age 12

1949 Born in Hongkong