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Min Kyung Kwon

Biography

Min Kyung Kwon is an artist based in Adelaide, Australia creating art of otherworldly beings that are beyond physicality and can be only seen through our mind’s eyes.

Kwon’s portraits are inspired by mythology, legends, folk storybooks, science through contradicting images of eeriness and cuteness with a glimpse of sensuality & innocence in their gesture.

Min Kyung’s work contains mysterious and secretive ghost-like beings with rich and warm oil colors in a sharp, carefully executed vision. Her characters are vivid and colorful with an expression of anomaly and chaos yet with dreamy calm eyes.

The Forest of Illusion (2017) Min Yung Kwon

“Paradox” from Kwon’s first series “Resurrection” was exhibited at Hive Gallery for its anniversary group show in 2017 named “Best of the Hive show”. Paradox was invited for the “CARDED!” show for Hot Art Wet City Gallery Vancouver in the same year.

Min Kyung was born in Daegu, Korea in 1978 then she grew up in Seoul watching Anime and reading comics (Manga) and she became interested in creating her characters. She started to draw and paint from an early age and attended after-school art/design classes throughout her teenage years which she learned the fundamentals of drawing and painting.

Kwon enrolled in Hongik University in Korea in 1998, where she received a B. A. in Industrial Design. After graduation, she started working for an exhibition company doing visual arts and designing show booths for major design conventions, Expos, and art fairs. Some of the clients include Samsung Electronics and LG Home Appliances.

G.H.O.S.T Series Artist Statement

The G.H.O.S.T series of work contains four paintings (Widow, Diabolica, Siren & Dawn) of spiritual beings, nymphs, inspired by Greek mythology, ancient folklore, and legend.

Each painting has its own distinct: predominant color; shapes; and creatures. The combination depicts physical and spiritual realms, and the feelings the mythological stories bring to me. Expressing the mythology, and my feelings in hearing these stories was my challenge and joy.

Widow (2019) Min Kyung Kwon

Widow

Series: G.H.O.S.T.
Year: 2019
Medium: Oil on Wood Panel
Size: 16″ X 20″

The widow was inspired by Arachne, (Greek: “Spider”) in Greek mythology, the daughter of Idmon of Colophon in Lydia, a dyer in purple. Arachne was a weaver who acquired such skill in her art that she ventured to challenge Athena, goddess of war, handicraft, and practical reason. The image of a girl looking through a purple fog came to my mind from the story. It would be a highly intuitive soul with wisdom in her deep purple eyes. She expresses her world through myriad spider webs with magnificent patterns and ever-changing abstraction

Diabolica (2019) by Min Kyung Kwon

Diabolica

Series: G.H.O.S.T.
Year: 2019
Medium: Oil on Wood Panel
Size: 16″ X 20″

Diabolica (Idolomantis diabolical, a.k.a., the devil’s flower mantis) was inspired by African mythology. A unique characteristic of the mantis is that the female kills and eats the male after he has impregnated her. In myth, Mantis personifies the concept that creation is not only birth but death as well and that through death, life is renewed. Myths about Mantis often reveal him as a shapeshifter. Mantis is the most beloved incarnation of the San Creator god Kaggen. Kaggen could transform himself into any animal form, but the forms of the mantis and the eland (a type of antelope) were his favorite. In one myth, Eland was the well-loved first son of Mantis, who wept when Eland was killed. This myth taught the San to honor the death of an Eland, their master animal.

Siren (2019) Min Kyung Kwon

Siren

Series: G.H.O.S.T.
Year: 2019
Medium: Oil on Wood Panel
Size: 16″ X 20″

Siren was created based upon Greek mythology, the Sirens (Greek singular: Σειρήν Seirēn). Sirens were dangerous creatures, who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and singing voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. Roman poets placed them on some small islands called Sirenum scopuli. The vision I saw from the story was a beautiful young female who was heartbroken by someone she loved once and now all she has is the feelings of vengeance. Will she ever feel love again? Or will she always be a fearful spirit who would curse and destroy someone?

Dawn (2019) by Min Kyung Kwon

Dawn

Series: G.H.O.S.T.
Year: 2019
Medium: Oil on Wood Panel
Size: 16″ x 16″

Dawn was inspired and created by Greco-Roman mythology Eos(Greek) the personification of the dawn. According to the Greek poet Hesiod’s Theogony, She was the daughter of the Titan Hyperion and the Titaness Theia and sister of Helios, the sun god, and Selene, the moon goddess. Dawn is a visualization of a female goddess who brings hope at the end of a dark tunnel.

Her serenity makes the world feel more peaceful and calm.

Interview with Min Yung Kwon

Q: What are you thinking about these days?
In the last year both of my parents have passed away, this has brought many of my thoughts to the meaning of life, our consciousness of thought, and death. Pondering life and death has never been far from my thoughts throughout my life, even when I was young.
It is obvious what happens to our physical bodies when we die but we know so little about what happens to our minds when we are dead.  These days thanks to technology and the internet humans can connect without having to use our physical selves, time and space limits do not necessarily exist.  In part we can exist on a conscious level which may be similar to our existence after death, connecting to other passed loved ones and even loved ones that remain through our conscious thought.

Q: What do you tell people when they ask about the ideas in your work?
I am intrigued by human minds. I question myself, what happens after our physical bodies die? The characters who frequently appear in my works(spirits, ghosts, or nymphs) are the ones who not only live in one body but keep shapeshifting and can be anyone and everyone. I normally start getting inspired by those inner questions before painting.

Q: Tell us about this latest series?
The title got named G.H.O.S.T. What if, after our physical bodies have gone back to the dust after death, the minds and thoughts remain and they can have different shapes accordingly, what would happen?
And then, what if the beings such as insects, bugs, and sea creatures that are less dense in both physical & spiritual than humans could have human consciousness and shape how they would look? I then combined the stories from mythologies and legends with those creatures to come up with the visualization of the paintings.

Q: What’s your background?
I started to learn to draw & paint from an after-school art school at the age of 15, then I started to learn Industrial Design from the university at the age of 20. After graduation, I worked as a graphic designer at a design company. I still work as a UX/UI designer part-time. It’s not possible to pay bills without a daytime job at the moment. haha. Then I enjoy design work as much as I enjoy making art, too.

Q: Who is the one person, dead or alive, that you would like to have dinner with and why?
Dead: Hieronymus Bosch —> I am so mesmerized by his world of craziness. I would ask him questions about all those characters in his paintings all night long!!!
Alive: Mark Zuckerberg —> I’d try my best to steal ideas from him about Metaverse and make my own company and become a billionaire… haha

Q: Who are your biggest influences?
Steven King (the writer). The very first book I read from him was ‘Carrie’. – Maybe I watched the movie before I read the book – I just could not believe the story was written by a male writer, Carrie’s emotions and feelings were so precisely described. It’s the best of the best of any books out there, well at least to me it is. 
Also, there’s a book called ‘On writing’. It’s about writing but anyone who happens to ‘create’ something should all understand what he’s talking about. He made me laugh and cry at the same time! Strongly recommended book ever for any creators.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
“Write with the door closed. Rewrite with the door open.”
“Your stuff starts out being just for you, in other words, but then it goes out. Once you know what the story is and get it right — as of right as you can, anyway — it belongs to anyone who wants to read it.”
-Stephen King

Q: Which current art world trends are you following?
I don’t particularly follow any art trends as such, however, I have always been mesmerized by Lowbrow arts – all started by Mark Ryden – I’ve been a huge fan of pop surrealism as well as a painter of it. 🙂

Q: What can’t you live without?
A very easy question! My MacBook Pro!!!

Q: What is your dream project?
A collaboration with Banksy? Just the thought of it would keep me awake all night with excitement!

Q: What’s your favorite artwork?
‘My Bed’, Tracey Emin, 1998 | Tate’
One of the rare artworks that made me cringe (out of such joy and excitement) as soon as I saw it. I’ve always loved Tracey Emin. Such a strong female artist. I truly admire her wildness and courage to be herself at any time.

Q: What are your last three Google searches?
Min Kyung Kwon (haha)
Haunted places in the world
Crop circle

Q: What gives you life?
Creation. Inspiration. Humans.

Q: What was the last thing you bought?
Winsor & Newton – Liquid Original (It’s a fast-drying medium I use)

Q: What ideas are you currently pondering or questioning?
I’ve been thinking about my next series as to how I will go forward developing my unique style. The 1st and the 2nd came out a bit differently in styles. It will be my job to make my 3rd series somehow consolidate the 1 and 2 then turn into my style.

Q: What imaginary place would you love to visit?
Mars & Venus (I know they’re not imaginary places however I’ve always wanted to visit those two planets)

Q: What’s next for you?
I’ve been brainstorming for my 3rd series, the 2nd series was done in 2019 so I’m getting behind. I’m hoping to get started with the 3rd before the end of 2021.

Website: minkyungkwon.com
Facebook: facebook.com/minkyungkwonart

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