2004 Honorary Fellow
Born in Kentucky of the United States of America, Aubrey Wilson commenced his undergraduate studies at the Carnegie Institute of Technology and completed his first degree in Design at the University of Arizona in 1964. He obtained his Master’s degree in Set Design from the University of Denver in 1966.
During the period 1964 to 1982, Aubrey Wilson taught theatre design at the California Polytechnic College, the University of Colorado and finally the internationally renowned California Institute of the Arts where, from 1982 to 1993, he served as Director of the Performing Arts, Design and Technology programme. In 1992, he was invited by the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation to chair a panel of international experts to validate the new Bachelor of Fine Arts degree programme in Technical Arts proposed by the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
The quality of the students, staff and the facilities of this Academy so deeply impressed Aubrey Wilson that he decided to accept the post of Dean of the School of Technical Arts and arrived in May 1993 to implement the degree programme which he himself had validated, and more importantly, to develop the full spectrum of theatre technical arts disciplines to initiate studies in film and television and to build up a community of highly talented staff and students.
Throughout his teaching career spanning three decades in the United States, Aubrey Wilson successfully developed and maintained a parallel career as a highly gifted and respected practitioner in production design, lighting design, art direction, multi-media design engineering, and architectural consultancy on a broad variety of projects ranging from motion pictures and television to the professional theatre, arena events and permanent architectural installations. His credits have been seen on award winning television programming for such producing firms as Walt Disney Studio, NBC, HBO and Fox Television. He has worked on over 100 music videos and other variety specials for MTV, HBO, Showtime and PBS. His multi-disciplinary talents brought a vision and vitality to large multi-media events with credit in the professional theatre that amounted to over 250 productions worldwide. He invented ‘The Chart-a-Beam’, a lighting design template system successfully offered through the commercial market, and ‘Uniset’, a modern scenic system for the motion picture industry. When he came to this Academy as Dean of Technical Arts, he brought with him many years of rich experience in the theatre world, in Hollywood, DisneyWorld and the American entertainment industry.
At the Academy, Aubrey Wilson developed the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree as well as other professional programmes in Technical Arts to a high international standard. The academic standing and professional training of these programmes are among the best in the world and certainly unique in the Southeast Asia region. Totally supportive of all the productions of the Academy, he played a positive role in interdisciplinary collaboration. Before retiring last summer, he had made plans for the introduction of a Master of Fine Arts programme for his School and taken a lead working with the other Deans on ways and means to enable the Academy to launch Master degrees within the existing resource. With Disneyland coming to Hong Kong, Aubrey Wilson worked on gearing up the School of Technical Arts to the needs for professional and technical personnel of the new theme park with a view to widening the employment opportunities of our graduates.