Lean from the Masters: Wesley Wong - Master Printer, Malaysia13/03/2018 | Reviews
Learn From the Masters: Wesley Wong - Master Printer, Malaysia
When Wesley Wong founded Giclee Art Sdn Bhd (Malaysia) in 2008 he set out to specialize in giclée print-making and artwork reproduction. Initially working in his spare time, by 2010 he had turned what was previously a hobby into a full-time, highly professional business.
Since that time, drawing on more than a decade of printing experience, he has built up an impressive clientele for his prints and printing services. His latest enterprise was the opening on the 20th of January 2018 of the world’s first ILFORD Galerie at Oasis Square, Petaling Jaya.
Wesley's interest in printmaking started in 2005 with a personal quest to produce better prints. Since then, he has continued to seek out suitable camera systems and color management solutions to improve his mastery of printing. Increasing expertise has allowed him to add fine art reproduction to the services he offers.
Getting colors right from image capture to the final print is essential to his work. "Today", he says, "we are in a golden age of digital photography where viewing and sharing of images through a mobile phone is the de-facto norm, thanks to the proliferation of social media platforms. But what we see on a screen does not necessarily translate into the same viewing experience when those images are printed."
Tools of the trade
“I use an EIZO,” is a key statement for Wesley, both for his professional work and when conducting his photography workshops. It's a confession that the monitor represents a critical component in his workflow, which is complex by anyone's standards.
He says one of the most challenging tasks in color management is workflow profiling, which covers a series of steps from camera to monitor and then to printer. When reproducing art works, the first step is to create custom camera profile using the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport. With this reference, large-sized paintings are photographed with a digital camera under standardized lighting.
The resulting image is uploaded to a computer and editing and soft proofing are carried out using the ColorEdge CG2730 monitor. The final step is to print the image on an Epson Stylus Pro 9900 large-format printer.
Wesley is quick to affirm the importance of having an accurate viewing reference in the workflow because it brings the image to ‘light’, enabling him to evaluate critical features like image quality, color rendition, contrast and luminance. "Without an accurate reference monitor," he adds, "post production editing is rather futile, particularly if the intended output is a print. We do not see an image until it is viewed on a monitor, and we cannot see a print until it is printed."
The EIZO monitor provides an immediate advantage because it is highly sensitive to changes in colors, he explains. Even a +1 shift on the adjustment slider is displayed clearly and accurately. This means image flaws are easily identified, providing him with a clear retouching strategy that allows him to minimize or eliminate any problem areas.
Having such an accurate, wide gamut monitor also enables soft proofing to be carried out effectively before committing to the print. This saves the operator's time and significantly reduces paper wastage.
Spreading the Word
Over the years, Wesley has accumulated a wealth of knowledge of both digital photography and workflow. He has been authorized as a global X-Rite Coloratti Master and is also a certified Ilford Master.
His expertise has made him one of the most sought-after trainers and speakers in Asia. As well as conducting many printmaking workshops and seminars in public and local universities throughout Malaysia, he has also travelled to China and Indonesia to share his printmaking knowledge.
He communicates his expertise freely through live demonstrations that take participants step-by-step from image capture through to the final print. Using EIZO monitors in his print-making and photography workshops instills confidence in his customers and helps workshop participants to understand the value of his products and services.
Looking to the future, Wesley plans to continue conducting bi-monthly practical workshops at the ILFORD Galerie, imparting knowledge to photographers on color management, editing workflow and print-making techniques. And under Wesley’s vision and direction, Giclee Art will continue to evolve, embracing the best of the latest technologies and incorporating them into a consistent workflow to deliver the highest-quality prints. That workflow will continue to be anchored by EIZO monitors which he says are "without doubt, the best viewing reference".