Yowshien Kuo


acrylic, bone ash, glitter, and plastic on aluminum
42 x 42 inches

I’m interested in bringing the human element and narrative to the portrayal of Asian figures… – Yowshien Kuo

With a meticulous technique and a cinematic sensibility, Taiwanese-American painter Yowshien Kuo paints Asian figures in “surreal landscapes with American Western undertones.” In describing his process, he says:

As I’m painting, I start to develop the narrative. It feels like I’m a screenwriter, with a sense of the plot and setting and what I want these characters to feel. But then I have to determine things like the setting—what time of day it is in the scene, or historical time period in which it’s set. I have to decide: is this the present or the past, or neither? […] In a sense, my paintings are like short films or one-act plays.

Kuo is the recipient of the 10th Great Rivers Biennial Art Award. In 2022, he had a solo exhibition, Suffering Politely, at the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis. His work has been exhibited at James Fuentes Online, New York; Praise Shadows Art Gallery, Boston; and Art Taipei 2021, and he has been featured on the cover of New American Paintings.