William Harald-Wong
Owner & Design Director, William Harald-Wong & Associates,
William Harald-Wong consults on the shaping of distinctive Asian identities for new cities and integrated developments, enhancing the human and cultural experience of a place. Projects include design for Nusajaya, the 24,000 acre new regional city of Malaysia; Muzium Sultan Abu Bakar in Pekan which underwent a major renovation and expansion; and Publika, Kuala Lumpur’s exciting creative retail space with a DNA of art and culture. He is also a keen photographer who documents aspects of Southeast Asian culture. Projects include Tokoh-tokoh Seniman Werdha (Living Treasures of Bali) a two-year island-wide search for the “missing” legendary Balinese dancers and musicians who were active in the early 1900s; and Main Petri & Makyong shamanistic healing rituals in Malaysia’s cultural heartland. His first solo exhibition Naga, the Serpent Spirit of Southeast Asia, a research / photo-documentation project covering five Asian countries, was held at Sanwon Gallery in South Korea. Group exhibitions include Six Asian Designers (DDD Gallery, Osaka) and 33 Designers from around the World (DDD Gallery, Osaka and GGG Gallery,Tokyo). William is the Founder and Chairman of The Design Alliance Asia (tDA Asia), a collaborative network of leading designers in 13 Asian countries / regions. Founded in 2000, tDA Asia has its Secretariat in Singapore. He served as Vice-President of Icograda from 2001–2003, engaging with China, India and Southeast Asia to bring their designers into the international arena, and is Co-founder of wREGA, the graphic design association of Malaysia. William survived a rudimentary course in commercial art at Malaysian Institute of Art, Kuala Lumpur, well known then for its Chinese painting and calligraphy. He picked up some ideas during his internship at Ogilvy & Mather, stayed on for a good one and a half years, then went his own way doing freelance typography for advertising agencies and creating many posters for theatre and performing arts groups on a shoestring budget.