W. H. Chong has designed books for Text Publishing since its inception, but he has also been making other art all that time. The 300 portraits in this book are taken from drawings and paintings he has made over the last five to ten years.
In Portraits, with Chong as our guide, we encounter local legends as well as national icons - a unique group portrait of our cultural scene. Portraits is a joyous love letter to those who have followed their passions down less-travelled roads, our culture-makers in all their inspiring variety.
Among the well-known we meet Benjamin Law, Clare Wright, David Malouf, Elizabeth Harrower, Gareth Liddiard, Gerald Murnane, Heather B Swann, Helen Garner, Jack Charles, Jan Senbergs, Judith Brett, Kate Grenville, Les Murray, Michelle de Kretser, Paul Kelly and many more.
Gorgeously illustrated from cover to cover, Portraits is a beautifully produced hardback of 256 pages, with delightfully rounded corners.
Number of Pages: 256
Publication Date: 30 May 2023
Publisher: Text Publishing
Publication City, Country: Melbourne, Australia
Dimensions (cm): 23.4(H) x 15.3(L)
W. H. Chong is a well-known Australian book designer, and an artist whose preferred media are drawing and painting. He is also a published poet and writer on art. His instagram is an ongoing project of depicting the people he encounters. In 2013 Chong was inducted into the Australian Book Designers Hall of Fame. He lives in Melbourne.
Reviews'How many artists can catch a human likeness in about three minutes, with the subject in motion? Chong possesses a rare talent and we are lucky to have him here in our time, surreptitiously recording the noble heads of Melbourne's creative crowd.' * Rick Amor *
'Chong's book is VERY RICH. I can't believe how it keeps on deepening and widening, the more I turn the pages. I was really surprised by his drawing of me. I thought, 'Oh! maybe once or twice I was worthy of being loved.' * Helen Garner *
'It's very likely W. H. Chong designed the cover of your favourite book. And now he's gone ahead and made your favourite book. Portraits is an absolute gift of a thing, effortlessly capturing the face - and soul - of what Australia looks like now in a series of portraits that are delightful, gorgeous and deft. (Also, those rounded corners? Sexy.)' * Benjamin Law *
'Chong's book of portraits is a beautiful thing. He should be proud. I'm proud to be in it.' * Sophie Cunningham *
'It is this commitment to deep intense observation which has proved so fruitful in this selection of drawings. Chong shows us his unique skill at unpicking the shape of a human form and putting it back together full of life, energy and spirit.' * John Wolseley, from his Introduction *
'Chong's Portraits looks FABULOUS.' * Michelle de Kretser *
'I'm getting a sore arm and shoulder from turning the pages. What I think is so good about Chong's Portraits is THE DRAWINGS. Every person is themselves; their shape, the way they look and lean their head, and the way they have each been given their own drawing style. Likeness is there, but also something more, and when there are so many it takes on a whole new feeling. A community, a tribe of like-minded people. It's some kind of masterpiece.' * Konrad Winkler, photographer, author of Diana Among the Humans *
'Oh my ... what a treasure to have Chong's drawings together in print and not just on my Insta feed. And such a package! Portraits is bloody beautiful.' * Mary Callahan, President, Australian Books Designers Association *
'"When I see someone I want to draw them," says Chong. His accomplished portraits vividly illuminate that which is crucial to creativity - the desire of the artist.' * Juan Davila *
'Turning the pages of this exquisitely produced volume of portraits is like being at a party of a who's-who of musos, artists and the literary crowd in Australia.' * Dr Zoe Sadokierski, Assoc. Professor UTS, Visual Communication *
'Chong's Portraits is richly engaging and very human. And so elegantly executed.' * Eric Beecher *
'It's an instant classic.' * Meg Williams *
'It's a wonderful document, the story of our time. Chong draws brilliantly.' * Jan Senbergs *