Charles Yuen’s early encounters with the emotional potential of art began an enduring interest. After graduating with a BFA from the University of Hawaii (1975), his place of birth, Yuen made his way to New York City, collecting a MFA from Rutgers University (1981) in the process. Inspired by cultural differences in his new environment and an excitement over newly discovered ways of analyzing visual phenomena, Yuen dove into art making’s potential as social critique and personal fulfillment. Part catharsis and part poetics, Yuen has been investigating fluid definitions of realism and irrationality, advocating a subjective logic for humanist expression.
Now living in Brooklyn, NY, he has received the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2018), Adolf and Esther Gottlieb Foundation (2011), Joan Mitchell Foundation (2006), Artists’ Projects: New York State Regional Initiative (1993), and an Artist in Residence (1983-4, Asian Arts Institute and New York State Council on the Arts). Numerous solo exhibitions include Slippery Harmonics of Imagined Phenomena, Pierogi Gallery, Brooklyn, NY; Between Here and Now, and Itinerant Visualist, both Pamela Salisbury Gallery, Hudson, NY; Crypto-somatic Incantation, Studio10, Brooklyn, NY; Casbah Paintings, Art in General, New York, NY; Psychographic, Metaphor Contemporary Art, Brooklyn, NY; Future Paradise, 490 Atlantic, Brooklyn, NY; You Are the Center of the Universe, Valentine Gallery, Queens, NY; Point Arabesque, Asian American Arts Center, New York, NY, and other more generically named shows at Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York, NY; Leo.Tony Gallery, New York, NY; Robert Henry Fine Art, Brooklyn, NY; ADA Gallery, Richmond, VA; and the Downtown Gallery, Honolulu, HI.
Additional group exhibitions, mostly in the New York City area, have been in museums and galleries including: Brooklyn Museum of Art, Newark Museum (NJ), The Armory Show NY (Pierogi), New Museum, Artists Space, Anhui Modern Art Museum (Hefei, China), Hunterdon Museum of Art (NJ), Columbia University Teachers College, Luise Ross Gallery, Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, Leslie Heller Gallery, Robert Steele Gallery, Franklin Furnace, Exit Art, Livestock Gallery, Blum Helman Warehouse, Catherine Gallery at Basement Workshop, Tweed Gallery, and more.
Reviews of Yuen's art have appeared in numerous publications including Hyperallergic, Art in America, ArtCritical, the New York Times, Time Out, Brooklyn Rail, Cover, Art Papers, Two Coats of Paint, Arte Fuse, House and Garden, as well as many community papers and culturally oriented blogs.
Viewing art as a project connected to a social and civic vision, Yuen has also participated community based activities including a founding membership in Godzilla, an Asian American Arts Network; and many other political and cultural advocacy exhibitions.
Charles Yuen lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.