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Yowshien Kuo

Yowshein Kuo (b. 1985) is a St. Louis-based artist working primarily in painting. His work blends his personal experiences as a Taiwanese American with historical references and criticism to comment on social and racial inequality, cultural constructs, sexuality, and the human condition.

Kuo incorporates Asian-American figures into surreal landscapes with American Western undertones that aim to communicate universal experiences through narrative and curated symbolism. His lauded technique of fine brushstrokes that resemble a smooth, matte air-brushed appearance, are contrasted with sandy surfaces of glittery lines and eye-catching reflective crystals. Each of Kuo’s paintings are layered with symbols that embrace multi-faceted interpretations from both Eastern and Western traditions, a practice that also reflects his personal experience and invite viewers to witness the figure’s fantastical desires, while simultaneously encouraging deeper introspection about what differentiates our sense of “reality” from fantasy, or fact from fiction. 


Kuo graduated with an MFA in 2014 from Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Missouri. Most recently he was the recipient of Great Rivers Biennial Arts Award 2022-23, having a solo exhibition at The Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis. His artwork has also appeared in many publications including New American Paintings #149 in 2020, where he was prominently featured on the cover. 

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