Many a New York City teen has tagged a wall or two, but very few turn it into a career. Victor “Ving” Fung is one of the few, and now he’s on a never-ending road trip to spread graffiti art to communities near and far.
“Street art is my passion,” says the self-taught artist, who rose to prominence after creating greeting card–style murals in Sunnyside, Queens, and Manhattan’s Chinatown. “Those paintings were my first attempts at public art, and I did it for the community… People loved it, we built connections to the neighborhoods, and we decided to take that feeling and run with it.”
In 2015 he and his partner, photographer Lisa Beggs, decided to purchase an RV and live full time on the road, creating sanctioned “Greeting Card” murals all across the country. Mr. Fung primarily designs the murals, while Ms. Beggs documents the process. They have traveled to all 50 states and created paintings in 20 of them.
“It started out as a one-year experiment,” Fung says. “But more than four years later, we are still on the road.”
Fung never expected his career to take this route. After graduating from Baruch, he landed a job at Experian, where he worked for eight years in digital marketing. “I was living a Clark Kent lifestyle,” he recalls. “I’d work my nine-to-five corporate job on weekdays, and then my weekends—or any free time, really—would be dedicated to graffiti.”
As Fung and Beggs journey across the country, they reach out to the communities they’re working in to crowdsource ideas for each mural. Those efforts allow the pair to bring an extra dimension of authenticity to every work. They also learn fun facts about each city. “In Tucson, Arizona,” Fung says, “they suggested we paint a Sonoran Dog, a very popular local hot dog that I never would’ve known about if not for their suggestion.”
In addition to working on the murals, Fung runs Klughaus Gallery, a Queens-based art agency that cultivates talented street artists and connects them with private clients.
What’s the next destination for the Greeting Card tour? “We did our first international mural in Bermuda,” Fung says, “and we’d love to expand this worldwide. We’re ready for any project that comes along—whatever, and wherever, it might be.”
—Gregory M. Leporati