Adriel Tong

Artist Statement

In the forms of representational modern day and natural objects, I investigate social and political issues. My works are reduced to a straight forward recognizable form with sophisticated texture and detail, they read as a symbol to a hidden context; clues are left to be interpret and scrutinize.

In order to make my work an effective vehicle to spark identifiable representation of my ideas, they have to be universal at various levels. As many people are afraid to confront politics and social problems, my work practice communicating these contrasting ideas, where you need to talk about these non-negotiattbles facts, and show the unpleasant situations. Therefore I create conceptual and visual layers, audience do not have to concur on all attributes, but choose to decipher as much as they are willing to. A personal gauge I frequently use is “if a child can appreciate my work”. I use vibrant colors and familiar objects to draw the simplest connection to my audiences. The basic engagement from a child offers me the appreciation of wonderment, and questions will follow curiosity. As a child grows older, we are taught to develop and ask more complex and consequential questions, and often via our cultural, racial, gender brought-up, we encounter answers that differs from our own. The question for my work becomes very subjective, if I already have an answer or a single sided pathway for people to understand my work. So my work have stated to develop a track where it would be a maze with two ending doors. They will have a duality that creates a tension between representative elements, in creating the enigma between, it serves an attraction from the ambiguous side of the symbolic forms.

My work is me trying my best in making an educated guess of the events I observe. They magnifies and conceals truth.They are questions, comments or answers to the phenomenon of our relationship and present day issues in society. I provide opportunities to be engaged with our cultural hearths.

-- Adriel Tong


The Artist was born in San Francisco, moved to Hong Kong at a very young age. At age 12, he almost paralyzed his left hand with a carving tool while carving plaster, and fell in love with art making since.

He had the opportunity to pursue art when moving back to California in high school,studied ceramics in De Anza College and San Jose State University, and finished his MFA Degree also in Ceramic at Rhode Island School of Design.

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