Terence Koh, ‘Untitled - 2nd december 2011’, 2011, Robert Fontaine Gallery

Chinese-Canadian artist Terence Koh’s work first came on the scene under the alias “asianpunkboy,” gaining a strong online following with zines and custom books he created. In 2004, he began working under his given name in a variety of media, including drawing, sculpture, video and performance art. His public persona is both idiosyncratic and enigmatic, dressing in all white and living in an all white environment, which he’s publicized through “The Terence Koh Show” on YouTube. Here, he invites guests into his home to interview them in short clips, including an episode with Lady Gaga. His work was thrust into the pop cultural spotlight with her help when she performed at the 2010 Grammys on a custom piano designed by him. She’s also been seen wearing a costume inspired by his sculpture “Boy By the Sea.” While he intentionally keeps basic biographical information unclear, it is believed that he was born in 1977 and raised in Ontario, Canada. He received his bachelor’s degree from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver. He’s often compared to Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol, and Joseph Beuys. However, he’s emerged as an original voice at the start of the 21st century. His work is included in the permanent collections of New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, as well as London’s Tate Modern. He lives and works in New York City.

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About Terence Koh

Terence Koh rapidly gained notoriety in the art world following his installation at Art Basel in 2007, which featured clumps of the artist’s own excrement covered in gold leaf. Such subversive gestures pay homage to Marcel Duchamp and the Dada movement, while other works such as Big White Cock (2006) examine symbols of gay subculture and the fetishization of objects. Another strain of Koh’s work explores spirituality and asceticism, as in his 2011 performance entitled nothingtoodoo, in which Koh took a vow of silence, dropped to his knees, and repeatedly circled a massive pile of salt for hours at a time. Koh’s diverse oeuvre encompasses sculptures, installations, and performance works, raising questions that range from how to define the role of the artist to what constitutes “otherness” in contemporary society.

Canadian, b. 1977, Beijing, China, based in New York, New York