Kyenan Kum

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Love after Death, 2008 Oil On Canvas W72" X H48" © Love after Death, 2008, Kyenan Kum,
Vnai and Stas, 2008 Oil On Canvas W 72” X H 48” © Vnai and Stas 2008,, Kyenan Kum
Angst, 2009 Oil On Canvas W 84” X H 40” © Angast 2008 Kyenan Kum,
Venus and Swan (Sept 11), 2006 Oil On Canvas W48” X H72” © Venus and Swan 2006 Kyenan Kum
Self portrait #6, 2007 Oil On Canvas W36” X H24” © Selfportrait #6, 2007, Kyenan Kum,
Self portrait #7, 2009 Oil On Canvas W36” X H24”
Last Kiss, 2006 Oil On Canvas (Section), Oil & Mixedmedia On Wood Panel W 60” X H 48” © Last Kiss 2006 Kyenan Kum
Love Scene with Bitter Melon, 2008 Charcoal, Pastel, Oil, Acrylic & Mixed On Wood Panel W 55” X H 48” © Love scene w Bitter Melon, 2008 Kyenan Kum
Love is Opium, Selfportrait #8, 2009 Charcoal, Pastel, Oil, Acrylic & Mixed Media On Wood Panel W 52” X H 48” © Love is Opium (SP #8) 2009 Kyenan Kum
Quick Facts
Daegu City, Korea
Birth year
Lives in
Oakland, CA
Works in
Oakland, CA
California College of the Arts
surealism figurative, imaginary, animal-art mixed-media, traditional, figurative


Expressing the existence and spirit of life in Realist form

As a child growing up in Korea, I made every effort to learn a great deal about western culture. At the time, Korean traditional art was very flat, but the western tradition was multi-dimensional. These forces of acculturation have thus become a definitive part of my life, beginning in childhood, continuing after my emigration to the west and developing during my education in American art schools. My exposure to western art was mostly through the great masters of pre-twentieth century Europe. It is in imitation of Great masters, from Bosch to Klimt to Rodin, who have had the strongest influence on my artistic development.

When I first encountered the contemporary art scene in the United States, my inclination toward the Great Masters seemed anachronistic. My attempts at various aspects of modern art never met up to my satisfaction, so I returned to my passion: Realism. More recently, I have used realist techniques to create scenes infused with my emotional philosophies. This approach has given a more surreal style to my work.

Contemporary scenes, lifestyles, environments and ambiances encompass the subject matter of my paintings. I explore questions of existence—in plant, animal and human life—using oil and other mixed media. The futility of life is what inspires me to search for meaning and artistic development.