Friday, September 28, 2018

Wylog Fong and Maxey’s Singapore Spa

Maxey’s Singapore Spa was in Los Angeles, California at 119 South Fairfax, and it opened in 1936. A history of the restaurant is here. Below are the portraits by Wylog Fong on the menu cover and matchbook covers (front, front rotated, and back which may be his art).


In 2013 the International Auction Gallery, in Anaheim, California, auctioned some Wylog Fong bamboo oil paintings, all undated, including the one below.

The portrait on the napkin, in the article, is the same as the matchbook cover below. I’m not sure Wylog Fong did the art.



  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Hi Alex! I hope this comment finds you well. I'm a graduate student at UCLA working on a project about the visual culture of Chinese restaurants in the LA Chinatown communities. I recently visited the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California and was shown a promotional artwork by Fong done for the Chinese restaurant Jerry's Joynt. I'm curious if you might have more information about artists/companies that did commercial design work for Chinatown restaurants. I am aware that Chinese American artists like Fong, Tyrus Wong, and Milton Quon contributed to a few restaurants' graphics/interior design program. I wonder if some restaurant owners deliberately solicited Caucasian designers, as they wanted someone who knew how to sell the 'oriental fantasy'. Looking forward to your response! -Natalie

  3. Hi Natalie,
    Thanks for your comment. I don't have information about the people or studios who did graphics for Chinatown restaurants. I don't know how restaurant owners hired talent for their menu graphics. The owner could have used a local print shop to supply the art for the menu, business card, etc. You might look to see how many Chinese print shops were in business. They could have printed menus in Chinese and/or English. The Chinese print shop would have hired a local artist for any graphics. And you might look to see if any print shops specialized in menus. In Los Angeles there's an abundance of artists who, if needed, could go to the library or a movie for oriental inspiration. I don't believe doing restaurant graphics paid very well either. Good luck on your project! -Alex