"Hongy the Artist"
Greg "Hongy" Lee Hong is gifted with multiple bloodlines. Hongy is of Aboriginal/Chinese descent. He was born in Yungaburra (Atherton Tablelands) Queensland in 1951 and raised from the age of six in Cairns.
Due to the inequalities of the day and raised in a Western society "Hongy" has only limited information in regards to his family ancestry. Though it is known that his maternal Grandmother was of Indigenous descent and his Grandfather was of Indian heritage.
Hongy's maternal Great grandmother is believed to be a descendant of the Rainforest people of Yungaburra. Rainforest Aboriginal people's environment provided everything - spirituality, identity, social order, shelter, food and medicine. Aboriginal people also had an excellent economic system in place that involved the bartering of resources amongst different tribal groups in the area. In the early 1880's about sixteen different indigenous groups inhabited the area of Yungaburra (formely known as Allumbah Pocket) The custodians of the area were the Yidinji people and the neighbouring Ngadjoni people. Members of the Yidinji tribe traditionally speak the Yidiny language.
In 1910 the railway arrived and the town was renamed Yungaburra. By 1911 indigenous numbers had fallen to 20% of the pre-settlement population due to disease, conflict with settlers and loss of habitat. The Indigenous cultures of Australia are the oldest livng cultures in the world with evidence of an Aboriginal presence in Australia for at least 60,000 years ago. Family photos, historical evidence, relatives recollections and Indigenous Authentication papers (ASIC) support Hongy's Aboriginal origins.
Hongy's paternal Great grandfather migrated to Australia from Canton (now known as Guangzhou) in the late 1800's (1897) and settled in Cooktown where he married an English woman. The family in the early 1900's then relocated to Atherton Queensland. Historical evidence can be found in the Cooktown Historical Society and the only surviving Chinese Temple in Queensland located in the township of Atherton.
In Hongy's formative years the family relocated from Yungaburra to Cairns. Hongy's father was the sole owner and operator of a successful earth moving business for many years until his retirement to the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Hongy was educated at Trinity Bay High School along with his two brothers. He completed Year 12 and went on to complete a Printing Apprenticship whereby he established his own Printing business'. Hongy worked in the printing trade for approximately 25 years primarily in Cairns before he relocated to the Sunshine Coast (Caloundra) Queensland.
Hongy then took another career direction and worked in the mining industry for approximately 22 years. He initially worked as an underground miner until he worked his way up and undertook further study and training to become an Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator for several underground mining companies.
Since retiring from the mining industry in 2014 and with his children all grown up Hongy and his partner decided to become "grey nomads" and travel this vast land of ours in their trusty caravan. It was this journey and an indigenous encounter in Katherine, Northern Territory that revealed Hongy's love and passion for the countryside, marine life and the search to connect with his aboriginal/chinese spirituality and heritage. Thus he discovered the art of painting on canvas and is entirely self taught. Hongy's genre is Contemporary and his style of painting incorporates his love of bright colours and indigenous dot art in Acrylics.
Hongy is very proud of his artistic creations and has set his artworks at very reasonable prices so everyone can afford to own and enjoy a piece of original art. We hope you enjoy them as much as he enjoys painting them!
Kind regards Hongy & Dee