Google doodle: Why should we remember Tyrus Wong

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On Thursday (October 25) Google paid tribute to Chinese-American illustrator and artist Tyrus Wong by dedicating a doodle to him. Born on October 25, 1919 in China’s Guangdong province, Wong has created some of the most well-known and popular images. He was also responsible in creating some of Disney’s most iconic works, including Bambi.

According to a report in the Independent, the backdrop for the 1942 animated film was inspired by his watercolour paintings. However, Wong did fall a victim to racism – his name appeared only as a background artist. Such exclusions followed him for a long time in his life and career too.

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He had immigrated to the United States with his father in 1920 in search of a better life. It was also his father who had identified his love and passion for art. He earned a scholarship in Otis Art Institute while studying in junior high school and later his creations were displayed at the Art Institutes of Chicago along with the works of stalwarts like Picasso, Paul Klee and Matisse.

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Wong also worked for Warner Brothers. His paintings and storyboards created some of the most legendary Hollywood movies like Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), Rebel without a cause (1955), and The Wild Bunch (1969). He worked there for over 26 years — until his retirement in 1968.

Wong passed away on December 30, 2016, at the age of 106. Even though his contributions were largely unrecognised during the time he lived, by the time of his death, he was regarded as one of the most celebrated artists.

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