Michael Beresford Wong (1970) was born in Sydney, Australia, to a Singaporean Chinese dad and Bulgarian mum. Or, as he razzes, ‘growing up between kangaroos and wogs.’ As a kid, Wong (as how we love to call him) observed the world. He didn’t want to be a fireman when he grew up. But a bird photographer. When he turned 13, his brother bought him his first SLR camera from the US. A Fujica x500 to be precise. That thing made Wong feel like the coolest Chinese looking Aus in the world. He didn’t care that he couldn’t see a thing through the viewfinder, with the 500m f5.6 lens and 2x converter on it.
Maybe that’s why Wong’s always working to get closer to his subjects, and so quiet most of the time, studying the strangest stuff and habits. Wong still shoots that way today: watching, letting things play out, waiting for the magic, observing everything others don’t. Let alone photograph so beautifully. As a commercial director, Wong’s an expert at documenting with a brilliant cinematic eye. And would 100% hate that we just said that.
Wong’s father told him he would never make a living photographing birds. We’re glad he didn’t, and that cracked that dream wide open instead. As an internationally established director, who’s been with Bonkers since 2009. Shooting all over the world, for every major agency, making award winning spots for Vodafone, Toyota, Rabobank, J&B, and KPN, to name a few.
In addition to cheese, herring, and Dutch licorice, Michael Wong’s a big fan of Bruce Lee. Over the years, Lee’s belief ‘Be like water, my friend’ has become Wong’s, too. Probably an advantage, given our Dutchy sea levels.