Young Sun Han, a Supplementary Biography

Young Sun Han, Image via Poptower

Young Sun Han is what straight, conservative fathers dread will become of their sons after enrolling in art school: to the mainstream, he’s Todd from Wedding Crashers.  To us, though, he’s a die-hard performance artist and photographer whose sexually liberated and endurance-based practice will make him a powerful force to be reckoned with. The Sucklord may be the show’s focal point, but we’re hoping Han will raise the bar.


Young Sun Han attended Goldsmiths College, a school well-known for being the training ground of the Young British Artists, and graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  As he lives and works between Chicago and New Zealand, he hasn’t yet shown in New York. He has, though, had multiple exhibitions at contemporary arts centers and fairs.


His best-known work, 24-hour hug, is a performance which it appears he has staged twice, once at Chicago's Swimming Pool Project Space and once at the 4A Center of Contemporary Art in Sydney.  This is what it sounds like: Han recruits a stranger- the one in Chicago was from Craigslist – to hug him for 24 hours straight.  In another, he would lock eyes in a stare-off with an audience member while dancing nude in front of a painted backdrop.  His homo-centric photographs are also admirably sensitive.

Young Sun Han, "24 Hour Embrace" (performance still), 2008


Based on his stellar portfolio, marathon stamina, and willingness to put himself in positions of extreme vulnerability, it seems that Young Sun Han's intensity makes him this year's contestant to beat. Or his performance could quickly get too weird for the judges, a la Nao from last year.


The Emo

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