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Iwen Yong


Born in Kuala Lampur, and immigrating to New Zealand at the age of six, with his family, Iwen Yong has never formally trained as an artist. “I have never had any formal education in art and no one in my family (extended and immediate) have had any experience in the creative field so it was hard to bridge that gap. Growing up I would never consider art as a profession (more of a hobby) so it was a tough decision to give up a stable income and career aspirations to take a risk and pursue art full time."

Iwen grew up in Maungaraki, Lower Hutt and went to Puketiro primary, Hutt Valley high school and then Victoria university. “I went to university to study accounting and commercial law and then I qualified and worked as a chartered accountant. While at work one day I drew a picture of my dog, Gus, on the whiteboard. An older lady who was an artist asked my boss Marie who the artist was. She approached me and asked if I had ever tried oil painting. Growing up I wasn’t really exposed to the arts and I didn’t even know what a canvas was. She offered to bring her student grade oil paints for me if I wanted to give it a try. I was reluctant at first but I found it relaxing and I really enjoyed the creative process. However, accountancy is quite different from pursuing a career in fine arts.”  

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