"Painting the Sky" - The Kites of Tyrus Wong at Malibu City Hall April 2 - July 28, 2017

The Malibu Cultural Arts Commission’s next public art installation “Painting the Sky: The Kites of Tyrus Wong,” opens Sunday, April 2 in Malibu City Hall.

Wong, who passed away on December 30, 2016 at the age of 106, was one of the most celebrated Chinese-American artists of the 20th century. He was a Hollywood studio artist, painter, printmaker, calligrapher, greeting-card illustrator and, in later years, maker of unique elegant kites.

The exhibit will be on display from April 2 to July 28, 2017 in the City Hall Atrium. The opening reception on Sunday, April 2, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, will feature a screening of a documentary about the artist and an exhibit of photographs of his kites.

The documentary, “Tyrus,” written and directed by Pamela Tom, is an in-depth portrait of the life and enduring impact of Wong, taking viewers on a journey from his birthplace in Guangzhou, China in 1910, to the boarding houses of L.A.’s old Chinatown and the studios of the Golden Age of Hollywood. The film will be screened at 3:00 PM and has a 73-minute running time.

Photographs from Sara Jane Boyers’ collection “Go Fly a Kite: Saturdays at the Beach with Tyrus Wong” will be on display in City Hall during the exhibition.

Wong’s career took off while working at Disney where, as a landscape painter, his talent was put to work creating the look and style for Disney’s classic animated feature “Bambi.” He then moved to Warner Bros. Studios where he worked for over 30 years as a pre-production illustrator on dozens of live-action films including “The Sands of Iwo Jima,” “Rebel Without a Cause” and “The Wild Bunch.”

After retiring, Wong re-discovered his childhood love of flying kites. He designed and hand made hundreds of kites using bamboo, rattan, nylon and string. He would fill the sky at the beach in Santa Monica with his whimsical creations: flocks of butterflies, owls, cranes, and swallows, schools of fish, a panda, and on windy days, a 100-foot- long centipede.

For more information visit MalibuArtsandCulture.org/Kites or call (310) 456-2489 ext. 337.