Photo by Grant Bozigian
In San Francisco, Anthony Poon created his first large scale work at age five. As his mother prepared a meal in the kitchen, the young artist grabbed his crayons and drew a landscape mural on the 8 feet by 15 feet wall that went up the staircase. The ambitious work was completed in 20 minutes. His parents did not know whether to scold him for vandalism or praise him for the burst of creativity.
Anthony painted his first public work at ten years old. His elementary school invited him to paint an exterior wall mural facing the central courtyard. He chose to offer a larger-than-life Captain America. Over the years, the school preserved the mural, restoring it as Mother Nature beat against Anthony’s early work. The school was mostly demolished 25 years later, but the district sought to preserve the mural. In one surreal evening, the school was nearly leveled to the ground. Only one thing stood amongst the ruins: the superhero mural.
Starting at age 6, Anthony began his training to be a concert pianist. For the next 25 years, he played recitals and competitions throughout Northern California. Mr. Poon graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, Magna Cum Laude, with a Bachelor of Arts in architecture, with a secondary emphasis in music history, theory and performance. He was editor of Concrete, the Journal for the College of Environmental Design. After graduation, Anthony relocated to New York City, living in Chelsea and working as a landscape architect.
In 1987, Anthony held two graduate school applications in his hands: Harvard University vs. The Juilliard School. Years later, he graduated from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design with a Master of Architecture.
His thesis examined how the process of making jazz can be applied to the process of designing architecture. After graduation, Anthony left the East Coast and relocated to Los Angeles, where he currently practices architecture at his award-winning studio, Poon Design Inc. and plays piano for his two young daughters who dance and sing along.
Mr. Poon’s visual arts have been exhibited in Berkeley California, Cambridge Massachusetts and Los Angeles California. His black and white photography has been published by Van Nostrand Reinhold Press. Anthony performed at the 2012 Architects in Concert: Unfrozen Music, and was a selected mixed-media artist for the 2013 Beverly Hills Art Show. He is a member of the Modern and Contemporary Art Council for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and a member of the A+D Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles. Anthony is also a certified Feng Shui professional, holding membership with the International Feng Shui Guild, and a frequent public speaker on art, music and design.
Anthony Poon’s book, Sticks and Stones / Steel and Glass: One Architect’s Journey comprises essays, behind-the-scenes stories, and autobiographical tales. This book captures the artistic spirit: the nobility, the humility, and the creativity. The writing examines how art is shelter.
The new hardcover book on the work of Poon Design Inc., Live Learn Eat is internationally published by ORO Editions and edited by acclaimed architectural critic, Michael Webb. For this fully illustrated, large format, 232-page book, Webb states, “Anthony Poon’s passion for music inspires a vibrant architecture that engages its users and the environment. . . Here you can track the creative process from concept sketch to model, plan to completion.”
For his recent body of mixed media works, Anthony has been honored with a 2020 top artist award from the Beverly Hills Art Show. Check out the associated Zoom interview entitled “Speaking With Artists That I Have Never Met,” with Shana Nys Dambrot, Arts Editor of LA Weekly.