Yowshien Kuo

February 9, 2021
Tell us about your practice.
My practice blends memoir, history, and criticism to instigate social and racial inequality, cultural structures, sexuality, and the human condition with reflections on being Asian American. Primarily working in painting, the imagery is intentionally playful, colorful, and flattened to draw viewers in to discover bitter truths veiled by the presentation of a comical world that appears fiction. Sharing stories and imaginary dialogues through a lens attributed to folk painting and informed by cultural entertainment.
What is the background behind your recurring figures of cowboys and Boy Scouts in your paintings?
The inclusion of cowboy, scouting, and Dolly Parton-inspired attire in the work is to represent a  hypothetical assimilation scenario. Serves as the projected fantasy of consciously becoming white in an effort to avoid becoming other. Reflects the desire to forfeit the discomforts that come with realizing one’s own cultural identity in favor of pre-existing conditions that allow for safer autonomous passage. 
I see this often with those who identify within the Asiatic diaspora, I am conditioned to it as well.
What’s next for you?
Later this year I will have a solo exhibition at Praise Shadows in Boston and an online solo exhibition with James Fuentes out of New York. These exhibitions will include paintings along with new ceramic works that are being realized with help from a small team, along with a potential video/AR piece that is more conceptually driven. Both are definitely a learning curve.

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