Picnics, parties and women: the art of Caroline Wong

Written by Natalia Muntean

I use colours as flavours,” says Caroline Wong about her works. Lively, colourful, and exuding a sense of carefree joy and bursting with lazy decadence, her paintings are created simultaneously, mostly at night, in the company of techno music.

Born in 1986 in Malaysia, Wong now lives and works in London, where she challenges traditional, restricted representations of East Asian women through her work.
At the heart of Wong’s oeuvre is a celebration and vivid exploration of the female experience, their friendships and their pleasure. “Every woman in my pictures is a real woman,” she states. She takes multiple photos of models, friends, and acquaintances, and later brings them to life on canvas. Occasionally, Wong becomes part of her art, inserting herself into her paintings, blurring the lines between artist and muse. Wong’s choice of subjects is deliberate and personal. “I don’t paint men because I feel I don’t know that subject. So I paint what I know. I paint women,” she explains.
As the show's title suggests, food is another central element in Wong’s art, symbolising indulgence and pleasure. “My art is very much tied to food,” she says, drawing parallels between the act of eating and the experience of creating art. Both, according to the artist, are about “giving into pleasure and detaching from the world.”
In Wong's paintings, viewers are offered a voyeuristic look into the vivid world of women as they surrender to the pleasures of life, laughing, chatting, and eating in the company of each other.

Picnics & Parties” is the artist’s first solo show in Sweden, after participating last year in a group exhibition “You Were Bigger Than the Sky, You Were More Than Just a Short Time,” and is on display at Gallery Belenius until 5 May 2024.

Artwork photo by Graeme Duddridge and installation images by Ellinor Hall