Kyunam Han

Kyunam Han interprets Korean Modernism within Western context and vice versa—Western Modernism within Far Eastern cultural context.  He incorporates traditional values and methodologies, such as perspective and chiaroscuro of the West, and Chun (passage and grid) from the East.  He blends Eastern isometric perspective with traditional Western linear perspective painting to create a fusion of both depth and flatness, and then apply calligraphic principles to recreate new pictorial images.

In his works,  Han mixes two cultural genes together. The images of the street include cars, buildings, lights, etc. and the mosaics of fragmented color are masterfully demonstrated on the canvas. Han repeatedly superimposes and substitutes structures and images by overlapped lines of contours.  The images, the whole drama of the surface come under the relationship of deconstruction resulted from the effective usage of various grids.  At the same time, Eastern conventional calligraphic methodology has been employed as a key element in Han’s painting:

1) Hieroglyphic images correspond with structure and meaning.  2) Signified becomes signifier. 3) Meaning correlates with form resulting in an altered sense of totality, providing both irony and ambivalence. 4) Calligraphic gesture creates action. 5) Binary opposition issues transform into new perceptions.  There are continuous processes of forms deconstructed and reconstructed of their meanings occurring between the elements of hues, gradation, textures, strokes, broken lines, etc.   Han creates his own form of pictorial hieroglyphs. He highlights the drama of his paintings by introducing dots on dots, orchestrating a symphony with a theme—a synthesis of opposites: a) figure/ground; b) image/structure; c) signifier/signified; d) internal/external;   e) language/being;   f) perspective/flatness. Together, these ambivalent elements are converging into one single totality.

Han is a Formalist and Multicultural Pluralist.  He has searched for new generative sources within a global cultural context in order to invent a new way of making an art form from his past and present, which, in art vernacular, can be deemed Modernist, Post-Modernist, or Neoclassical Modernist.  Perhaps a better way of saying this is that he is a “genetic engineer in painting".


1974 - 77  The Ohio State University - Graduate School, Dept of Painting: M.F.A in Painting
1972 - 74  The Ohio State University - Graduate School, Dept of Theater, Stage Design
1978 - 79  Joe Brown Sculpture Studio: Rocky Hill New Jersey
1967         Seoul National University: B.F.A in painting


2003      Atelier International Art Group, New York
2002      Anne French Fine Arts, Miami - Gold Key of the City of Bay Harbor was given to the artist by mayor
              Atelier International Art Group, New York
2000      Michail Lombando Gallery, New York        
1999      Artsforum Gallery, New York
1998      Blue Hill Cultural Center
              Ellen Kim Murphy Gallery, Seoul, Korea     
1996      Mi Gallery, Seoul, Korea
1995      Hong Kong International Art Exposition, Hong Kong
              Walker Hill Art Center, Seoul, Korea
1992      Yuna Gallery, Seoul, Korea
1991      Sun Gallery, Seoul, Korea
1990      Azart Gallery, Seattle WA
1988      Sun Gallery, Seoul, Korea
1984      John Harms Performing Center,Englewood, New Jersey
1977      Hopkins Hall, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Commissions & Collections:

L.H. Funk Foundation, Basel Switzerland
American Express Headquarters, New York 
Supreme Court, Seoul, Korea
Samsung Corporation, Seoul, Korea
Hoam Museum, Seoul, Korea
Sun Kyung Corporation, Seoul, Korea
Commercial Bank of Korea, New York
Han IL Bank, Seoul, Korea
Sung San Corporation, Oregon WA
Tristar Corporation, Seoul, Korea
Gana Art, Seoul, Korea