Currently lives and works in Seoul. His work focuses on the gap between reality and fantasy, working mainly with oil paints as well as drawings on paper and installations.
Woo was exposed to the heavy subject of life and death at a far too early age, pushing him to hide away from reality and into the fantasy-filled story world. After growing up, he discovered the cruelty hidden behind seemingly beautiful fairy tales, making him re-interpret the world from a new perspective driving him to investigate philosophy and religion. In the same vein, the Three “B” (Beautiful, Baby, Best) always coexist with the death motif in his works. The equivocal co-existence of reality and fantasy called upon the artist to seek truth in fairy tales, humour in philosophy and freedom in the bible.
Woo's early works mainly consisted of roughly scratched paintings, expressing the raw dangers of a wandering ego. His more recent works evolved into a more stable form expressed through the build-up of thick layers of paint into a rich material. Woo Kukwon's work combines cruel fairy tale scenes and roughly scribbled famous words with his natural gift of colour, creating a unique genre that mixes Pop Art and Figurative Art.
Woo is a promising artist who was selected as one of the 20 artists for the 32nd JoongAng Fine Arts Prize, which is one of Korea's most important awards. He has held numerous solo exhibitions since 2009. His art piece has been collected at Culture Convenience Club, a Japanese company that operates Tsutaya, a nationwide bookstore in Japan. Furthermore, his paintings have been collected at various museums in Korea, such as the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul National University Museum of Art, etc.
Selected Solo Exhibitions include “Carnival”, Tang Contemporary Art, Hong Kong (China, 2022); “I’m your father”, Noblesse Collection, Seoul (Korea, 2021); “It’s The Hard Knock Life”, Gallery BK, Seoul (Korea, 2021); “JEREMIAH WAS A BULLFROG”, LOTTE Gallery Avenuel, Seoul(Korea, 2020) etc. Selected Group Exhibitions include “The Forties: Alluring Moments“, Gallery Joeun, Seoul (Korea, 2021); “Brave New Gaze: Vision, Gaze, and Start”, ATELIER AKI, Seoul (Korea, 2020);“Age of 40s: You were enchanted”, Gallery Joeun, Seoul (Korea, 2020); “Dialogue”, ATELIER AKI, Seoul, (Korea, 2020) etc.
Woo Kukwon Solo Exhibition - Once Upon Her Time
Curated by Dai Zhuoqun
8.12 - 9.16, 2023
Beijing 1st Space
Armin Boehm, Chen Yingjie, Cheng Chi Tien Lin, Ding Hongdan, Etsu Egami, Gongkan, Gao Hang, Oska Gutheil, Huang Bingjie, Stephen Wong Chun Hei, Kong Huidong, Leng Guangmin, Liu Youran, Kitti Narod, Jade Ching-yuk Ng, Woo Kukwon, Wang Xiyao, Xie Xuanxuan, Yan Jingzhou, and Zhang Haoyan.
Curator: Fiona Lu
3.18 - 4.21, 2023
Hong Kong Wong Chuk Hang Space
Group Show : L'Empire des sens
Curated by Yonni Park, Jeeeun Hong
11.26 - 12.31, 2022