Legendary Disney Artist Passes Away

March 6, 2017

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. inspiration /ˌɪn spəˈreɪ ʃən / (n.) – something that influences something else
Example: That event served as an inspiration for the film.  

2. stint / stɪnt / (n.) – a period of time when someone does something, usually a job
Example: She had a two-year stint as a preschool teacher.

3.  land a job / lænd ə dʒɒb / (idiom.) – to find a job and be employed
Example: I landed a job at a call center.

4. accomplished / əˈkɒm plɪʃt / (adj.) – highly skilled
Example: She is an accomplished musician.

5. survive / sərˈvaɪv / (v.) – to remain alive after the death of someone
Example: He is survived by his three daughters.


Read the text below.
Tyrus Wong, an artist honored for his contributions to Disney, passed away last December.

Wong’s paintings served as inspiration for the art of Bambi, a Disney classic released in the 1940s. The Walt Disney Family Museum said that Wong's influence on the film’s visual aspect is very significant. His art also inspired Disney’s modern day animators.

In recognition of his contributions to the animation company, Wong was included in the Disney Legend Hall of Fame in 2001. Two years later, an exhibition of his work was held at the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles. 

Wong was born in October 1910 in Guangdong, China. He was nine years old when he immigrated to the United States with his father. In his early years, he earned recognition from his teachers. He later received a scholarship for the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. He made paintings for public spaces during his two-year stint at the Works Progress Administration. In 1938, he landed a job as an illustrator for Disney.

He worked in Disney for three years before moving on to Warner Brothers. While working for these film industry giants, Wong also made designs for Hallmark greeting cards on the side.

For his artwork, Wong took inspiration from landscape paintings of the Song dynasty. He is one of the most accomplished Chinese-American artists of his generation. Throughout his life, Wong worked as a painter, printmaker, calligrapher, and illustrator. After his retirement, he continued to create art by making kites and ceramics.

He died of natural causes at the age of 106. He is survived by his three daughters and his extended family.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think it is important for artists to incorporate their culture into their artwork? Why or why not?
·         If you were an artist, how would you show your culture through your work?

Discussion B

·         What difficulties can artists face throughout their career?
·         On the other hand, what are the rewards of being an artist?

March 6, 2017