Later Work (1980 - 1991)
Throughout the 1980s, Bongé continued to create a very strong body of abstract work, including some monumental oil paintings. These works are rich in color, with a sense of depth and movement, and very defined compositions. They are softer in gesture yet more vibrant in color. They are expressive in a poetic way that is reminiscent of post-minimalist lyrical abstraction. They are often composed with more defined elements and edges, yet still fully abstract. And they explore conceptual themes. Indeed, it is during this time that she created a series of paintings referring to the transcendent (Buddhist) concept of the “Void”.
In contrast to some of these large works, during the late 1980s, Bongé began a series of delicate jewel-like small abstract watercolors. The intimacy of these little watercolor paintings appealed to her, and they became her preferred medium. Many of these works were on small “Joss” papers, sheets of bamboo or rice paper centered with a small square of gold and/or silver leaf, which were available at the local Asian markets. These too are vibrant in color.
“It became a special challenge,” she said, “to make it seem as if I had placed that little square right there.”
Dusti Bongé painted her last work in 1991.