Isidro Con Wong was born in Puntarenas, Costa Rica in 1931. A son of Chinese immigrants, he studied in Macao and Hong King from 1949 to 1951. Upon his return to Costa Rica, he established his home in the Gulf of Nicoya where farming, fishing, and cattle rearing became his way of life.
During this time, Con absorbed all aspects of the rich flora and fauna his daily contact with the environment provided. It is clear that his significant interaction with Mother Nature has influenced his paintings of landscapes, moons and bulls. Also important in Con's work is how he incorporates his ethnic background with his Costa Rican nationality. A third generation of Zhongshang providence of Chinese, he had based some of his work on words he remembers his grandmother using when he was younger. These words, or characters, appear intertwined in his trademark trees –neither hidden nor immediately obvious.
Con's interest in painting, however, did not surface until he was in his mid-forties. During this time, he began decorating sacks used to package the rice he cultivated and sketching images in sand. It was after experimenting on these surfaces that he made the translation to canvas.
While there is much discussion amongst art critics as to how to label Con's artistic style – from naïf painter to naturalist or realist –one thing is quite clear: Isidro Con Wong imbues his work with an understanding of Costa Rica's diverse environment that only working the land could have brought forth.