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Tobias Wong, 1974-2010

Category: Features

D. Tobias Wong, the Canadian-born, New York-based artist and designer, passed away in the early morning of Sunday, May 30, 2010. He was 35.

Moment to Moment

A couple of days ago, a great designer passed away. Tobias Wong was one of the designers chosen to show at the museums inauguration exhibition “The State of Things – Design and the 21st Century”, curated by four international curators that hand-picked the designers that represent the design of our time.

In a short amount of time, Tobias Wong has made a name for himself in both the design and art worlds mixing humour and great esthetics along with environmental message and style. 

We recieved the sad news from Aric Chen, one of “The State of Things – Design and the 21st Century” curators:”I’m writing under especially sad circumstances. As some of you may have heard, Tobias Wong passed away over the weekend at the age of 35.Tobi was a provocateur and an incredible talent who changed the way many of us saw design. He was also a dear friend.”Aric Chen.Tobias Wong “Moment to Moment”, featured at the exhibition.

Here is the full text of the press release:

D. Tobias Wong, 1974-2010

D. Tobias Wong, the Canadian-born, New York-based artist and designer, passed away in the early morning of Sunday, May 30, 2010. He was 35. Through his work, Wong helped bring forth much of what is now taken for granted in contemporary culture. Influenced by Dada and, especially, Fluxus, he questioned authorship through appropriation; held a mirror to our desires and absurdities; upended the hierarchy between design and art, and the preciousand the banal; and helped redefine collaboration and curation as creative practices. Working within what he termed a “paraconceptual” framework, Wong prompted a reevaluation of everything we thought we knew about design: its production, its psychological resonance, its aesthetic criteria, its means of distribution, its attachment to provenance, its contextualization and its manner of presentation. Wong was a keen observer, an original mind, a brilliant prankster, and an unerring friend.Wong’s work was widely exhibited, including at the Museum of Modern Art and Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. His many projects included those for Colette, Comme des Garcons, Prada/OMA, Cappellini and Swarovski Crystal Palace. In addition to the objects he created, re-created, repurposed, rarefied and otherwise manipulated, Wong’s work included events and happenings thatincluded, among many others, a pop-up tattoo parlor at Art Basel Miami Beach/Design Miami and the Wrong Store, a “store” in New York that was in fact never open. (As with much of Wong’s work, both were collaborations.)Wong was named Young Designer of the Year by Wallpaper* magazine (2004) as well as the Brooklyn Museum of Art (2006). In 2008 and 2009, he served as founding co-creative director of 100% Design Shanghai, affiliated with the 100% Design fairs in London and Tokyo.Born and raised in Vancouver, Wong studied in Toronto before moving to New York in 1997 to attend the Cooper Union, from which he graduated with a major in sculpture. He is survived by his mother, stepfather, brother, partner and BFF.

For his works and projects click here

Images courtesy of Tobias Wong