Paradox Tauranga Street Art Festival

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Wongi Wilson was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, and is based in the suburb of Sydenham. Wongi's interest in graffiti developed at a young age and for over twenty years he has watched the art form grow from virtual non-existence to a blossoming, pervasive creative influence across New Zealand.

Wongi has played a major role in transformation of graffiti art in Christchurch, through work as an exhibiting and commissioned artist, with work shown at Canterbury Museum, COCA Gallery on several occasions, as well as hundreds of large scale murals across the city.

Find out more about Wongi’s work.


Paradox Outside work: untitled

The concept for the mural is based around the joyful emotions derived from nostalgic cartoon characters, contrasted with an element of photorealistic imagery. Both the photorealism and cartoon characters are styles Wongi commonly paints, and the hands in this case are his own.

Memorable characters from the 80's such as Fat Albert, Hong Kong Phooey, Samurai Pizza Cats and Snagglepuss, through to characters from the 90's such as Patrick Star from Spongebob and Plank from Ed, Edd and Eddy, as well as anime characters like Majin Buu from Dragon Ball Z and Princess Mononoke to name a few.

"I'm hoping it'll appeal to a large age range and encourage the viewer to fully reminisce about their favourite childhood characters, as well feel how they would have way back when."

"Whether you resonate with the characters from the 70's and 80's or the more recent characters from the 90's, or are drawn to the depth of rendering from the painted hands, the feel good emotions are hard to deny no matter your demographic."

Find Wongi's wall.

Photography: Luke Shirlaw