A Utopian Vision

“My aim is to overcome my marginality through creating a utopian vision, which reconnects me to my childhood.” - the artist

The Epiphany of Henut II, oil on painting, 170 x 100 cm, $5000

The Epiphany of Henut II, oil on painting, 170 x 100 cm, $5000

My art explores my status as a half-Asian, queer artist, who has no sense of “home” in post-colonialist, feminist and psychoanalytical terms.

The Epiphany of Henut I, oil on painting, 170 x 100 cm, $5000

The Epiphany of Henut I, oil on painting, 170 x 100 cm, $5000

A specimen of globalization, I was born in Kazakhstan, my father - North Korean and my mother - Russian. Having caught a glimpse of the USSR, I have a conflicting perception of cultural systems. Unable to assimilate into any culture, I am a banished outsider with no origins.

Entropy, oil on painting, 190 x 80 cm, $3000

Entropy, oil on painting, 190 x 80 cm, $3000

Stemming from this inability to integrate, I am drawn to creating a utopia through my performance art: a paradise, where I can reinvent myself to whom I truly want to be, and not what the mundane reality holds in store. This performativity enables me to come to terms with my depression, where the saddening sense of nostalgia used to permeate my existence and taint every experience of reality that I had.

Just do it, oil on painting, 170 x 100 cm, $7000

Just do it, oil on painting, 170 x 100 cm, $7000

I work in a range of media including performance, film and painting.

My performances take the shape of drag queen style, “mockumentary” music videos, where I reenact pop culture songs, which bring me closer to this infantile state of euphoria and inner freedom.

Sketch(a), 2019, oil on canvas, 42 x 29 cm, NFS

Sketch(a), 2019, oil on canvas, 42 x 29 cm, NFS

"The Epiphany of Henut”: Taking inspiration from the British artist, Alison Jackson, this diptych portrays the objectification of the female body throughout human history in the shape of putting two women on the cross of different races: black and white. The series contextually bases itself on theorist, Judith Butler's essay, "Subversive Bodily Acts", which describes various idiosyncracies and subversions of queer communities. The females both have rabbit faces as part of Kan's creation of a half-human, half-animalistic, utopia creature. The works were completed during Kan's time at SIM residency in Reykavik, Iceland, which she was awarded this year. Both paintings were shown at SIM Studios, attracting a wide range of audiences from the Icelandic artistic public. They will similarly be presented at Herrick Gallery in Mayfair, London this October.

To view more work by the artist, please visit 18thstreet.org/artists/katya-kan. You may also follow the artist on Facebook at www.facebook.com/katya.artist, as well as Instagram @_katyakan_.


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