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Fay Ku

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20130614181556-fay_ku_-_harpy
Harpy , 2013 Graphite, Watercolor, Ink and Metallic Color on Paper 39 X 27.5 in © Courtesy of the artist and Eight Modern
20130614183040-fay_ku_-_local_weather
Local Weather , 2011 Graphite, Watercolor and Ink on Paper 27.5 X 39 in © Courtesy of the artist and Eight Modern
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Luncheon , 2012 Graphite, Watercolor and Ink on Paper 38 X 50 in © Courtesy of the artist and Eight Modern
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Birdfight, 2013 Graphite, Watercolor & Ink on Paper 27.5 X 39 in © Courtesy of the artist and Eight Modern
Ku_nightcrawlers_pr
© Courtesy of Sam Lee Gallery
Dontlook
Don't look, 2006
1
Pollination, 2008 Graphite, Watercolor, Ink on Paper 63.5 X 98 Cm © Goedhuis Contemporary
Flash_1_
See What You Do II, 2009 Graphite, Watercolor, Ink on Paper 126.5 X 80.6 Cm © Goedhuis Contemporary
Fs
Fish Sticks, 2009 Graphite, Watercolor and Ink on Paper 27.5 X 39 in © Courtesy of the Artist and Eight Modern
Sea_bed
Sea Bed, 2009 Graphite, Watercolor and Ink on Paper 27.5 X 39 in © Courtesy of the Artist and Eight Modern
Ku_swarm3_sml
Swarm III, 2008 Graphite, Watercolor, Ink on Paper 50 X 70 Inches © Courtesy of Goedhuis Contemporary, New York
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© Courtesy of the artist & Crossing Art
20110107094302-ku_owlhuntii_d_l
Detail of Owl Hunt II, 2010 Graphite, Metallic Watercolor on Black Stonehenge Paper 50 1/2 X 59 1/2 Inches © Courtesy of the Artist and Sam Lee Gallery
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Whore Of Babylon , 2012 Graphite,watercolor,gouache& Metallic Color, Paper 70cm X 100cm © Courtesy of the artist & Karin Weber Gallery
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Strut, 2015 Mix Media on Layered and Cut Sheets of Mylar 107x76cm © Karin Weber Gallery
Quick Facts
Birthplace
Taipei, Taiwan
Birth year
1974
Lives in
Brooklyn, New York
Works in
Brooklyn, New York
Current Exhibitions and Events
Nov, 2016
American Histories
Pi Artworks, London
Nov, 2016
American Histories
Pi Artworks, London
Statement

Born in Taipei, Taiwan, and raised as an outsider in a series of small American towns, Ku invokes both Eastern and Western traditions in her drawings, which combine remarkably smooth draftsmanship and meticulous detail with idiosyncratic, discomforting ideas.

Ku's work is inspired, as she puts it, by the negative 'residues' of human culture, such as violence and social failures. Her inspirations are many - from the morbid Chinese folk tales she heard as a child to the films she sees and the literature she reads -- but her art is inspired by the things that stick with her, whether she wants them to or not.

"It's similar to when you touch something sticky, and you don't know what it is, but you can feel it on your hand all day," Ku says.

Her works are enigmatic, dreamlike and occasionally zoomorphic. While her figures have aged and changed as she has, most of her established body of work shows female figures, often children, locked into combat.

In Room For One, a girl in a boat stabs at submerged swimmers with a sharp pick; in Curse, in Ostrich Hunt, three young children try to drag down a bird; while in Tiger Girls, half-human figures snarl and fight.

Despite the inherent strife, Ku's figures remain austere, showing no emotion as they act out brutal allegories of human socialization.

"I think I started off with children because I needed them to be sympathetic," Ku says. "I didn't want to shock people away from the darker side of human nature."

Ku's drawings recall the callousness and lack of empathy of children, who have not yet learned the customs and niceties adults use to mask society's true savagery.

"We're not that much evolved when we become grownups," Ku says. "We have the veneer of being socialized, but all those tendencies and emotions are barely under the surface."

Similarly, Ku's art often manages to be simultaneously macabre and whimsical; delightfully wicked, if one will. She also contrasts her dark subject matter with elegant patterns and her detailed figures with expansive white space.

Ku received an M.F.A. from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and a dual B.A. in literature and visual arts from Bennington College in Vermont. She has had at least six solo exhibitions since 2005, during which time her work has been included in nearly 20 group shows. Ku has received numerous residencies and awards, which include extended residencies at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, the Santa Fe Art Institute and the VAN Artist Residency, as well as the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant and the A.I.R. Emerging Artist Fellowship.

 

Curriculum Vitae

EDUCATION

Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
MS Art History & MFA Studio Art

Bennington College, Bennington, VT
Dual BA in Literature and Visual Arts

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2012

Are We Having Fun Yet?, Central Utah Art Center, Ephraim, UT   

2011

Half Breeds, Sam Lee Gallery, Los Angeles              

2010

Face All Eyes, Eyes All Hands, The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, HI.             

2009

Sleeping Beasts (Site Specific Installation), National Performance Network Conference, Knoxville, TN.
Double Entendre, Eight Modern, Santa Fe, NM.
Fay Ku, Goedhuis Contemporary, New York. Brochure.
Outliers, L MD Galerie, Paris, France
New/Now: Fay Ku, New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT.

2008

Fay Ku: A Survey Of Works 2004-2008,Kips Gallery, New York. Catalogue.
Deviance, Sam Lee Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Fairy Tales Re-Told, Brooklyn Public Central Library, Brooklyn, NY

2007

Surface Tension
Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT. Brochure

2005

Here Be Monsters, A.I.R. Gallery, New York, NY
Life Boat, Metaphor Contemporary Art, Brooklyn, NY

SELECT GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2012

SuperHuman, Central Utah Art Center, Ephraim, UT and Alijira, Newark, NJ.
It Came From Chashama, Austrian Cultural Forum, New York, NY.

2011

Pressing Ideas: Fifty Years of Women’s Lithographs from Tamarind, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.
Four for the Future, Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque, NM.
Move, Galerie L MD, Paris, France.

2010

Tales Gone In Flocks and Herds, Crossing Art Gallery, Flushing, New York.
Animal Instinct: Allegory, Allusion, and Anthropomorphism, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Shebogyan, WI.
Going Green: Taiwan's New Environmental Art<, Taipei Cultural Center, New York< Houston, TX, and Taipei, Taiwan. Catalogue.
Tamarind Celebrates 50 Years, Chiaroscuro Gallery, Santa Fe, NM.
Hunting Trophies, Parker’s Box, Brooklyn.
The Great American Watercolor, New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT. Brochure.
Two Degrees, Sartori Gallery, New York

2009

She: Feminine Visions by Taiwanese-American Artists, Tenri Cultural Institute, New York
Beyond China: The New Ink Paintings from Taiwan, Goedhuis Contemporary, London, UK
Fata Morgana, Dabora Gallery, Brooklyn
New York Group Show, L MD Gallery, Paris
Other, Other....High Visibility, Longwood Art Gallery, Bronx
Frolic: Humor & Mischief in Taiwanese Art, Hillwood Art Museum, Brookville, NY
All's Fair in Art and War: Envisioning Conflict
21C Museum & International Contemporary Art Foundation, Louisville, KY

2008

Mind the Gap, Eight Modern Gallery, Santa Fe.
More Stories, Todd Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco
From Brooklyn, With Love, Parker’s Box, Brooklyn

2007

Four Artists, curated by Eugenie Tsai, Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York, NY
Frolic: Humor & Mischief in New Taiwanese Art
Curated by Dr. Thalia Vrachopoulos & Jane Ingram Allen
2x13 Gallery & Taipei Cultural Center, New York, NY (With Exhibition Catalogue)
Once There Was, Once There Wasn't: Fairy Tales Retold, Eight Modern Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
Troubled Waters, curated by Hélianthe Bordeaux-Maurin, Parker's Box, Brooklyn, NY
Working Space, curated by Tricia YunJoo Paik, Cuchifritos, New York, NY
The Troubled Waters of Permeability! Parker's Box, Brooklyn, NY

2006

Kid Pink Gloves,Chashama, New York.
NextNext Visual Arts, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY.
Little Monsters, AG Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.
The Lady Doth Protest Too Much, Heidi Cho Gallery, New York.
Bearings: The Female Figure, P.S. 122 Gallery, New York.Y
Unforgiven, The Changing Room, New York.
Pratt MFA Graduate Exhibition, Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York.

2005

I.D.:i.d., A.I.R. Gallery, New York.
Summer Solstice, Gallery Boreas, Brooklyn, NY.
Good Housekeeping< Tribes Gallery, New York.
Underneath, McCaig-Wells Gallery, Brooklyn, NY.
Women's Identities,Walter Wickiser Gallery, New York.
Characters I, Shore Institute of Contemporary Art, Long Branch, NJ.
Characters II, Silvermine, New Canaan, CT. Catalogue.

2004

MFA Show, Steuben Gallery (Pratt Institute), Brooklyn, NY.
Chance Encounters, Open Ground, Brooklyn, NY.
MFA Show, Steuben Gallery (Pratt Institute), Brooklyn, NY.
Art Of The Book, Pratt Institute Library, Brooklyn, NY.
Generations.04, A.I.R. Gallery, New York.
Open Season IV, Open Ground, Brooklyn, NY.

RESIDENCIES

2011

Women's Studio Workshop, Rosendale, NY  

2010

Chashama Visual Arts Studio Program, New York
The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, HI

2009

Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque, NM
University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV

2008

Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE
Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, NM

2007

Real Art Ways Open Emerging Artist Selectee, Hartford, CT
Weir Art Farm Residency, Wilton, CT
Urban Artists Initiative/NYC Project Grant

2006

Artist Alliance Inc. (AAI) Lower East Side Rotating Studio Program, New York.  

AWARDS & GRANTS

2009

National Performance Network (NPN)/Visual Arts Network (VAN) Project Grant
New York Foundation for the Arts (Deutsche Bank Fellow)

2007

Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant
National Performance Network (NPN)/Visual Arts Network (VAN) Pilot Project Grant
Urban Artists Initiative/NYC Project Grant

2005

A.I.R. Emerging Artist Fellowship               

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
Asian American Art Centre, New York, NY
The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii
The New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT

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