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Charles Teo
, 2012

by Adam Chang

oil on canvas (support: 140.4 cm x 162.3 cm)

Charles Teo AM (b. 1957) is a neurosurgeon. Born in Sydney, where he attended Scots College and graduated in medicine and surgery from the University of New South Wales, he worked for some years at the Children’s Medical Center, Dallas, Texas and was Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Arkansas. Developing a reputation in the field of minimally-invasive (or ‘keyhole’) neurosurgery, he has been invited speaker and visiting professor in more than thirty-five countries, associated with such institutions as Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, Albert Einstein University, Marburg University and the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. He has written some thirty book chapters and scores of scholarly papers. While still teaching regularly in the USA, he also teaches and sponsors the education of neurosurgeons from developing countries such as Peru, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Romania, and treats children from developing countries with neurological conditions. Based at the Prince of Wales Private Hospital, he is currently the director of the Centre for Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery, president of Think First Australasia (established for the prevention of brain and spinal cord injuries), a Founding Board Member of VINE (Volunteers for International Neurosurgical Education), the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board and founder of the Cure For Life Foundation. He has been featured on Australian Story several times, 60 Minutes, Good Medicine and Today Tonight. As a media-aware, charismatic and outspoken surgeon, he is not without detractors within his profession; yet he was recently named the Readers’ Digest Most Trusted Australian for the second time. In 2012 he gave the Australia Day Address, a humorous and largely positive lecture in which he nonetheless reflected on his own experience of racism, suspicion and the dearth of research opportunities in his own birthplace.

Adam Chang (Hong Jun Zhang) (b. 1960), born in Shanghai, began showing in major exhibitions in China in the early 1980s and held his first solo exhibition in 1985. From 1989 to 1993 he studied at the Fine Arts Academy, Shanghai University; he was awarded the Shanghai Art Critics’ Prize in 1992. Chang migrated to Australia in 1997 and settled in Sydney. Since then, he has been an Archibald Prize finalist six times, winning the People’s Choice award in 2011. In early 2011 the animal-protection organisation Voiceless staged a fund-raising event. Those who bought gold raffle tickets went into a draw for the chance to win a commissioned portrait by Adam Chang. Eleonora Triguboff, publisher of the journal Art & Australia, won the prize and initiated a portrait of Charles Teo, who is a Voiceless council member.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of Eleonora Triguboff 2013
Accession number: 2013.23