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Oscar yi Hou (born Liverpool, UK, 1998). Coolieisms, aka: Sly Son Goku turns 23, 2021.

Oscar yi Hou (born Liverpool, UK, 1998). Coolieisms, aka: Sly Son Goku turns 23, 2021. Oil on canvas, 30 × 24 in. (76.2 × 61 cm). Courtesy of James Fuentes LLC. © Oscar yi Hou. (Photo: Jason Mandella, courtesy of James Fuentes LLC)

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Oscar yi Hou: East of sun, west of moon

Oscar yi Hou: East of sun, west of moon comprises eleven recent figurative paintings that question what it means to be “Asian American,” and who is considered “American,” during a time of heightened violence against Asian and LGBTQ+ communities across the United States. In some works, yi Hou casts his friends and himself as East Asian figures from Western history and visual culture. In others, he depicts his sitters—many of whom, like him, identify as part of a queer, Asian creative community—in traditionally white, masculine roles, upending long-standing stereotypes. Looking to both popular culture and past references, the artist surrounds his subjects with a kaleidoscope of imagery, from cowboy hats to Chinese calligraphy.

Content: 11 paintings

Size: 1,500 sq. ft. (139 sq. m.)

Publication: No

Curators: Eugenie Tsai, John and Barbara Vogelstein Senior Curator, Contemporary Art, with Indira A. Abiskaroon, Curatorial Assistant, Modern and Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum