Posts in reviews
Bay Area Reporter: Gender fluidity & mutable identity

Young Joon Kwak, founder of Mutant Salon, a traveling beauty platform for queer, trans, femme, POC artists and performers, riffs on the Greek deity Hermaphroditus, the embodiment of fluid sex and gender. Kwak's sculpture "Hermaphroditus's Reveal I" (2017), a wave-like arc of fiberglass cloth and resin coated in gold enamel, relates to Cahun's masks and intentional enigma. Installed on the floor, the metallic surface appears to harbor an unseen figure on its hands and knees; a pair of hands edges beyond the curtain, and fingers from a third tease a back flap, hinting the veil is about to be lifted and the truth exposed.

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Canadian Art, Review of The Cave


“This was a celebration of a fierce partnership aglow and it was one of the most tender things that I had ever seen”

—Erik Benjamins

“Find a cave and push it inside out. Cast its ends and its beginnings, its never-ending beginnings, in mercurial metals that move upward. Does it even have an inside anymore? In the gallery, a mirrored fountain points to those eyes that surveil you and bodies like yours; in the film you blur their faces.”

—Ginger Carlson

& reviews by Andrew Berardini, Tao Fei , Maeve Hanna, Catherine de Montreuil, Ryley O'Byrne and Daniella Sanader

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Artforum Critic's Pick: Young Joon Kwak and Mutant Salon at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE)

“…These objects cue the themes of Young Joon Kwak’s sculptures: sexual figuration and transformation. For example, Hermaphroditus’s Reveal III (all works cited, 2018), which smartly melds abstraction and realism, renders the body as a sheet of resin bending gracefully under its own weight. Nearby, Surveillance Mirror Vaginis reflects the other sculptures in the room in its vaginal yet convex mirrored surface…

…The lesson is queer: everywhere, becoming…”

-Andy Campbell

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Artforum Critic's Pick: “All Hands on Deck” at Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design - Artforum International

Young Joon Kwak has titled Hermaphroditus’s Reveal I, 2017, after the mythological child of Aphrodite and Hermes, often portrayed in Greco-Roman sculpture as a feminine figure with male genitalia. Through its coyly placed hands and arabesque ripples of resin-coated fiberglass cloth, the work conjures an abstraction of the act of revealing.”

-Jeanne Dreskin

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