Terence Koh’s oeuvre employs a diverse range of media, including drawing, sculpture, video, performance and the internet (Koh’s web presence is his longest continuous artwork to date). Originally working under the alias asianpunkboy, Koh designed zines and custom-made books, quickly cultivating a dedicated following. By 2004, Koh was creating work under his real name and had developed a public persona of enigmatic behavior—the artist wears only white, lives in an all white environment, writes in a cryptically poetic way and is intentionally unclear on such basic biographical details as his date of birth and his childhood home. But, as the writer Agustín Pérez Rubio points out, “Koh’s creativity is not about the construction of a character. Rather, it is an act of political or social relevance with an ever-growing surrounding collective subconscious…his stances on art and life find expression inside the art world but at the same time want to subvert it.” Koh’s recent work has grown to include durational performances and complex large-scale installations. Whilst the influence of his artistic forebears—including Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys and James Lee Byars—is often cited, Koh has developed what is clearly one of the most important and original voices to have emerged at the beginning of the 21st century.
Koh’s work was included in the 2004 Whitney Biennial and the 2008 Yokohama Triennial. In 2008, he was a finalist for the Sobey Award. He was the subject of solo exhibitions at MUSAC, León, Spain (2008); Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany (2008); the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2007); Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland (2006) and the Vienna Secession, Austria (2005) amongst others. His work is in the permanent collections of such notable institutions as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Tate Modern, London, England. Forthcoming projects include a major monograph being published by Rizzoli and a solo exhibition at the Museum of Chinese in America, New York.
Terence Koh lives and works in New York.
For more information, please visit terencekoh.com.
Photography: Hugh Lippe