AMHERST, Mass. – Young Min Moon, associate professor of studio art at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has been selected to receive a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship.
He is one of 178 scholars, artists and scientists in the United States and Canada to be chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants on the basis of “prior achievement and exceptional promise,” according to the foundation. In all, 56 disciplines, 83 different academic institutions, 29 states and two Canadian provinces are represented by this year’s fellows, who range in age from 29 to 77.
A graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design who also earned an Ed.M. from Harvard and M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts, Moon joined the UMass Amherst faculty in 2005.
Moon’s practice of art and art criticism are informed by his experience of migration across cultures and hybridized nature of identities in the context of the historical and political relationship between modern Asia and North America.
Moon’s recent paintings, collectively titled “Some Sense of Order,”pertain to Jesa, a Confucian ritual performed in South Korea as remembrance of ancestors and funerary rite of mourning for the deceased. The work represents “some sense of order” particular to his hybrid upbringing in both Confucian and Catholic order in South Korea, says Moon, as well as the task of translating the dissonance found in the physical manifestation of the spiritual into the material language of painting.
Moon has exhibited his work at Kukje Gallery, Kumho Museum of Art, Art Space Pool, and the Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, in South Korea, and Smith College Art Museum, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University, among other venues.
Active also as critic, Moon has published a bilingual Korean-English catalogue for his curatorial project “Incongruent: Contemporary Art from South Korea.” Moon has contributed scholarly essays to Rethinking Marxism, BOL, and Contemporary Art in Asia: A Critical Reader (MIT). He has guest-edited the special issue on the after effects of war in Asia for the online peer reviewed journal Trans Asia Photography Review.
Foundation president Edward Hirsch said that since its establishment in 1925, the Guggenheim Foundation has granted over $315 million in fellowships to almost 17,700 individuals, among whom are scores of Nobel laureates and poets laureate, as well as winners of Pulitzer Prizes, Fields Medals, and other internationally recognized honors.