Dong Kingman working on a watercolor at 57 Mott Street, 1940s, Courtesy of Jip F. Chun; Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) Collection.
1940年代,曾景文在勿街57号画水彩画,Jip F. Chun捐赠;美国华人博物馆(MOCA)馆藏

Dong Kingman was a Chinese American artist that is best known for his watercolor paintings. He painted in the California Style of Watercolor Painting, which was defined by broad brushstrokes and rich colors. He was born in Oakland, California as Dong Moy Shu in 1911. At the age of 5, his parents moved the family to Hong Kong, where he began school. As per Chinese naming traditions, he was given the name “King Man” (in Cantonese the name literally means “Scenery Composition”) by his instructor after learning of his artistic aspirations. He would later combine the name and put his surname in front taking on the name Dong Kingman.

In his teens, he would move back to the United States and attended the Fox Morgan Art School in Oakland. It was during that time that Kingman decided to concentrate on watercolor painting. In 1936 Kingman had his first solo exhibition at the San Francisco Art Association. This show gained him acclaim and recognition. During World War II he was drafted into the U.S. Army but was transferred to map making role at the Office of Strategic Service because First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was a fan of his work. After the war he went on to design background for Hollywood, most notably the film adaptation of “Flower Drum Song.” He passed away at the age of 89.