With a background in classical Korean painting from Hongik University, Kwon Kisoo creates graphic fantasies comprised of Technicolor wands of bamboo, popping plum blossoms, and expanses of brilliant monochrome. Most of these works are inhabited by a modern icon of his own creation: an alter ego named Dongguri.
A simplified line-drawn figure with an invariable expression, Dongguri has neither gender nor identity, and often appears with an ’emoticon’ army of similarly ambivalent smiley-faced clones. The artist frequently places this cartoon-like protagonist within scenes that are discernible to the viewer as traditional Korean landscapes. In creating this temporal confusion, Kwon instigates a dialogue between tradition and modernity, alluding at once to his characters’ historical displacement and the impossibility of contextual and cultural erasure.
Born in 1972, Kwon Kisoo lives and works in Seoul. He has participated in exhibitions at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai; The Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; The Busan Biennale; and The 5th Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art.