The say some of the greatest talents find a way to glory against all odds. The same could be said about one of the Animation’s torch bearers, Tyrus Wong, the legendary Chinese born American illustrator, painter, animator, calligrapher, muralist, ceramicist, lithographer, and a great Artist. As we at Hi-Tech Animation celebrate his 108th Birthday with the rest of the World, let’s get to know more about the legend.
Life wasn’t easy for the man we know as Tyrus Wong today. Born Wong Gen Yeo, in a small village in Southern China’s Guangdong province on October 25, 1910, he travelled to the USA with his father at the age of 10 under challenging circumstances. He was even detained by the immigration. But talent found the path to illumination when his skills were recognized at school and by his father when they had settled in Sacramento.
Having received a scholarship at Otis Art Institute in his Junior High, Tyrus never had to look back. From designing hallmark cards to creating the memorable character and shades in the Disney classic “BAMBI”, his work has been an inspiration for animators all across the world.
He worked for 26 years for the Warner Bros. studios as a production Illustrator. After retiring from movies, he spent his time making kites with imaginative illustrations of different animals, which became a rage.
He was featured in the ‘The Art of Motion Picture Illustrator’ along with William B Major and Harold Michelson at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Grand Lobby Gallery in Beverly Hills in 2007.
His work was also displayed at the Walt Disney Family Museum in 2013.
He was the creator of numerous well known paintings which have been exhibited in the top Museums and Academies in the USA.
Tyrus Wong became a centurion in 2010. His life was illuminated in Pamela Tom’s ‘TYRUS’, a movie based on his journey.
He passed away in 2016 leaving a legacy of one of the most influential and acclaimed Asian-American artists of his time and an inspiration for animators from all corners and social strata of the world. An animator’s journey through time only takes him towards fame and a life of fulfillment- Tyrus Wong was a reflection of this.