Google Doodle on Thursday, October 25, paid tribute to Chinese-American artist and illustrator Tyrus Wong on his 108th birth anniversary. The tech giant company remembered the artist with a doodle and shared a small animated video on YouTube that depicted Wong's illustrious artistic career. The video covers his journey from painting in the newspapers as a child to being in the headlines for the same as a renowned artist. It also shows him growing old and depicts how he was often spotted flying kites with his wife and daughter.
Here's the video:
In an official release, Google said, "Today’s Doodle honours the life and legacy of Tyrus Wong (born Wong Gen Yeo) the Chinese-American artist responsible for some of the best-known images in American popular culture. Drawing inspiration from Chinese artists of the Song Dynasty, Wong applied his unique vision to paintings, prints, and even the Walt Disney film Bambi."
As per media reports, Tyrus, initially named Wong Gen Yeo, was born in the Guangdong Province in China on October 25, 1910. He immigrated to the US with his father when he was around nine years old. After completing his graduation in Los Angeles, he took up art as his full-time profession. He started off as an animator, calligrapher and muralist in Hollywood and created some of Disney’s most iconic characters including 'Bambi', and he also earned the title 'Disney Legend' for his contribution to the company.
Elaborating on the same, Google stated, "In 1938, Wong was hired by Walt Disney Studios as an "inbetweener" intern (illustrators who create the sketches between key animator sketches, forming the movement of a character or object), drawing thousands of illustrations that were photographed to make animated films. His most notable work was on the Disney film Bambi, where he served as a lead illustrator, profoundly influencing the art of the beloved classic. Unfortunately, when Bambi hit theaters in 1942, Wong was only credited as one of many “background artists,” leading his major contributions to go unrecognized for years."
Wong later joined the Warner Brothers where he painted storyboards that shaped the look of other landmark Hollywood films like 'The Wild Bunch', 'Sands of Iwo Jima', and 'Rebel Without A Cause'. He earned an Academy Award nomination owing to the excellence in his work.
Wishing Tyrus Wong a very happy birthday, Sophie Diao, the artist who created his doodle, said that the artist used to inspire him ever since he learned about him in college. In the Google official release, he was quoted saying,
"Tyrus Wong’s work has inspired me since I first learned about him as a first-year animation student at CalArts. I specifically love how he infused Western illustration with Eastern painting sensibilities; it motivates me to think about ways to channel my own Chinese heritage in the stories and artwork I make. Today’s Doodle was heavily inspired by Tyrus’ paintings of forests, which are atmospheric, blurry, and magical. They feel like distant memories that have been committed to paper. I tried to imbue the Doodle with this dreamy feeling too.The more research I did on his life, the more impressed I was by the playful and curious way he lived. I feel like I really got to know him from all the videos and interviews in which he lit up when talking about his creative process. Now that the project is over, I’ll miss being immersed in his world, but I hope to carry forward the inspiration I found. Happy Birthday, Tyrus Wong!