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NY Times: Tyrus Wong, ‘Bambi’ Artist Thwarted by Racial Bias, Dies at 106

Tyrus Wong, Disney Animator Dies at 106

As reported in the New York Times, “When Walt Disney’s “Bambi” opened in 1942, critics praised its spare, haunting visual style, vastly different from anything Disney had done before.

“But what they did not know was that the film’s striking appearance had been created by a Chinese immigrant artist, who took as his inspiration the landscape paintings of the Song dynasty. The extent of his contribution to “Bambi,” which remains a high-water mark for film animation, would not be widely known for decades.

“Like the film’s title character, the artist, Tyrus Wong, weathered irrevocable separation from his mother — and, in the hope of making a life in America, incarceration, isolation and rigorous interrogation — all when he was still a child.

“In the years that followed, he endured poverty, discrimination and chronic lack of recognition, not only for his work at Disney but also for his fine art, before finding acclaim in his 90s.

“Mr. Wong died on Friday at 106. A Hollywood studio artist, painter, printmaker, calligrapher, greeting-card illustrator and, in later years, maker of fantastical kites, he was one of the most celebrated Chinese-American artists of the 20th century.

“Tyrus Wong was one of the most celebrated Chinese-American artists of the 20th century, but he passed much of his career unknown to the general public. ”  Read the entire story here.

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