Entry Title: "Michael Ward"
Name: Boon Ong , Canada
Category and Expertise: Nudes|Other_P|Deeper Perspective, Non-Professional


Entry Description: Michael Ward, 55 year old, 3rd generation art model. Both his grandmother and mother were models. “The challenge of being a life model is getting old. Old models hurt holding poses that they could hold 30 years ago with ease. So I started being the new old me.” Michael said. “Every time I close my eyes, I could hear my mother and grandmother’s instructions. They taught me that there is an exchange of energy that passes between the artist and the model. I am the same as the paper, the charcoal, the paint, the brushes, the film and the camera.”

Story: Michael Ward, 55 year old, 3rd generation art/life model. Both his grandmother and mother were models. His grandmother was modeling in 1925 at the Ontario College of Art; his Mother was modeling at the Toronto School of Art while she was also one of the art instructors there. Michael’s first modeling session was at that school and it was for his mother’s drawing class. He was 15. Michael wanted to be like his Mother and so when he graduated from high school, he went to Ontario College of Art. He graduated with a BFA in visual arts and while going there he modeled. His mother and father were outraged with his degree hoping he would have done something better; so he then travelled to Vancouver and went to British Columbia Institute of Technology and took Survey Engineering. While in Vancouver he modeled almost every night at art drop-ins and for art classes in the evening at Emily Carr University. When he graduated, he went to work for the Government of Canada as a Federal Surveyor. “The challenge of being a life model is getting old. Old models hurt holding poses that they could hold 30 years ago with ease. So I have stopped trying to be me as I was when I started and am now being the new old me. I treat every session as if it was my first. I am nervous before dropping my robe and am always polite and humble to the audience. I still think it is an honour to model for artists and photographers – imagine they chose me. I never rehearse in front of a mirror my poses; I never memorize a routine. I come into every session refreshed and feeling good inside. I close my eyes and for moment I can hear my Mother and Grandmother’s instructions on how to model. They taught me that there is an exchange of energy that passes between the artist and the model. I am the same as the paper, the charcoal, the paint, the brushes, the film, the lens and the camera.” Michael said. Everything on this earth was created from us – so to draw, paint, sculpt and/or photograph the human figure is one of the greatest challenges for man. Michael Ward has spent his life giving of his nude body so that others can learn about anatomy, love, sex and life.

About the Artist:

Boon Ong was born in Ipoh, Malaysia in 1979. Since he was 18, he has been heavily involved in performance art, contemporary dance, choreography and theater production. He got an MSc. in Pipeline Engineering from University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in 2003. Since then, he has travelled to various countries like Thailand, China, United States, United Kingdom, France, Amsterdam and Taiwan, exposing himself to different culture and art scene. He now lives in Calgary, Canada, where he chooses photography to express his passion to art, as well as a balance to his analytical life as an engineer. His works are mostly portrait and recently he has started working on some figurative art projects. Boon has previously won IPA2013. (http://www.boonong.com)