The Democracy of the Dead
Young Min Moon is an artist and critic whose work reflects his migration across cultures and his awareness of the hybrid nature of identities forged amid the complex historical and political relationships between Asia and North America. Through his art Moon explores the meaning of tradition, the aftermath of violence and loss, and the politics of mourning. Moon has shown his art in many exhibitions in South Korea and North America, including Seoul Museum of Art, Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Kumho Museum of Art, Art Space Pool, Kukje Gallery, Sansumunhwa, Smith College Art Museum, and Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. As a critic of contemporary art in South Korea, Moon published an exhibition catalogue Incongruent: Contemporary Art from South Korea, and contributed scholarly essays to Rethinking Marxism, BOL, and the anthology Contemporary Art in Asia: A Critical Reader (MIT). Moon is a recipient of a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship.
Painters & Sculptors Grant, 2019
My recent paintings represent food offerings in the Confucian ritual Jesa, performed as remembrance of spirits of ancestors and funerary rites of mourning for the deceased. Beneath the colorful depiction of fine foods, my work grapples with the death drive, violence, trauma, mourning, and the redemptive potential of representation. The work is also a form of honoring countless Korean women's labor and dedication in preparing the offerings. By representing this particular form of mourning and celebration, I intend to open a space of encountering otherness in the Western tradition of oil painting, rather than merely depict an exotic culture.”