Young Joon Kwak (b. 1984 in Queens, NY) is a LA-based multi-disciplinary artist working primarily through sculpture, performance, video, and collaboration. Kwak’s work aims to change how we view our bodies by reimagining their form, functionality, and materiality—from static and bound to pre-inscribed power structures, to an expanded sense of bodies and their environs as mutable and open-ended. Kwak is the founder of Mutant Salon, a roving beauty salon/platform for experimental performance collaborations with her community of queer, trans, femme, POC artists and performers, and the lead performer in the electronic-dance-noise band Xina Xurner. Performances and exhibitions include: the Hammer Museum, the Broad, REDCAT, and ONE National LGBT Archives, Los Angeles; Regina Rex and Smack Mellon, Brooklyn; Southern Exposure, San Francisco; Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and Pavillon Vendôme Centre d’Art Contemporain, Clichy, France. In 2018, Kwak will present solo exhibitions at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions as their Summer Artist-In-Residence; Cloaca Projects, San Francisco; and the Walter Phillips Gallery at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Alberta, Canada.
Kwak was recently awarded the Rema Hort Mann Foundation’s Emerging Artist Grant, and the Art Matters Grant. She received an MFA from the University of Southern California, MA in Humanities from the University of Chicago, and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.