Overview

Ken Gun Min’s paintings explore intimacy, masculinity, and representation across cultures, while employing a mixture of western-style oil paints, Korean pigments, embroidery, and beading on raw canvas. Often featuring nude and queer-coded men, his portraits and lush landscapes concoct fanciful idylls where longing, melancholy, and euphoria manifest irrespective of expectations imposed on people in daily life.

 

Born in Seoul, Min lived in San Francisco, Zurich, and Berlin before settling in Los Angeles. With this experience of Eurocentric capitals, his practice calls first-world-oriented perspectives into question. For the past several years, Min has focused on the creation of cross-cultural figures and spaces by integrating eastern and western painting styles on a single plane. This practice investigates the way figures and landscapes can be colored by the material and stylistic choices made in their rendering. In both his technical application and the scenes he composes, Min challenges conceptions of sexuality, gender, and race, especially as it is depicted in Western art history.

 


 

Ken Gun Min studied western painting and art history and theory at Hongik University in Seoul, Korea and received his MFA from the Academy of Art, University of San Francisco. Solo exhibitions include Silverlake Dog Park, Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles; Wounded Man, Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, K contemporary, Denver, CO; and Becoming Palm Tree, Gae Po Project Space, Seoul, Korea. Group exhibitions that featured Min’s work include i know you are, but what am i? (De)Framing Identity and the Body, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City, UT; Sparkle in, Fade out, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA; Bozomag: Bozo Family Hoedown, M+B gallery, Los Angeles, CA; and 36 Paintings, Harper’s, East Hampton, NY. He was a Hopper Prize finalist and received awards from Direktorenhaus, Berlin, DE and the Kellogg Foundation, New York, NY. Min’s work has been featured in Artnet, ArtMaze Magazine, Artsy Editorial, and Hyperallergic. The artist has a forthcoming presentation at the Denver Art Museum and a solo exhibition at Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles in late 2023.

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