Join Praise Shadows Art Gallery for a conversation between ‘Frontier Romance’ artist Yowshien Kuo and Aleesa Pitchamarn Alexander, Assistant Curator of American Art at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University. Kuo’s solo exhibition is on view from November 19 through December 24, 2021.
Yowshien Kuo was educated in the U.S. and Taiwan, and completed his MFA in 2014. Kuo currently lives and works in St. Louis, Missouri.
His experience between both Western and Eastern cultures made it challenging for him to effectively assimilate into either of them. He describes, “My days in Taiwan were filled with studying the arts and the enjoyment of life; in America, the cost of making a comfortable life for myself meant focusing on avoiding being “the other”. My American dreams of fitting in led to shame and embarrassment towards my Asian heritage, and it left me with an inescapable sense of loss that I am constantly working to remedy through my artistic practice.”
His work is positioned to expose wide audiences to the invisible world that exists behind systemic xenophobia and discrimination, and reveal the irony of seemingly innocuous realities faced by multi cultural people. With a goal to humanize and advocate for compassion and empathy towards those who feel a constant sense of disassociation from the circumstances of daily life.
He is a recipient of the 10th Great Rivers Biennial Art Award. As part of that prize, he will open an exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis in 2022.
In 2021, Kuo had his first museum exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis, James Fuentes Online (New York, NY), Praise Shadows Art Gallery (Boston, MA), and Art Taipei 2021. His work was been featured on the cover of New American Paintings issue #149. He has been profiled in the Artsy articles, 16 Rising Artist of the Asian Diaspora in the United States, and Yowshien Kuo’s Cowboy Paintings Challenge Whitewashed Portrayals of the American West.
Aleesa Pitchamarn Alexander is Assistant Curator of American Art at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University. With Marci Kwon, she is a founding Co-director of the Asian American Art Initiative, which seeks to make the Cantor and Stanford a leading academic and curatorial center for the study of Asian American and Asian diaspora artists. To this end, she has helped bring in more than 200 works of art by Asian American artists into the Cantor’s collection, including pieces by Ruth Asawa, Chiura Obata, Michael Jang, Dominique Fung, Martin Wong, and Bernice Bing. Aleesa came to Cantor in 2018 after completing her tenure as a Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and receiving her Ph.D. in art history from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has been invited to present her research and writing at the Harvard Art Museums, Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Folk Art Museum, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; her scholarship has been supported by the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, the Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design, and the American Craft Council.