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international drawing annual 9 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Michael Namkung
Miami, Florida

Florida International University

detail image


My work utilizes a language of athletic performance in drawing under physical duress in order to explore a state of consciousness, a condition of fragility, and a certainty of failure rooted in the human body. Investigations of material, movement and architecture lead me to explore the physical relationship between the body and its environment by attending to the somatic experience of the drawing body as it negotiates space and surface. This relationship reveals itself in biomorphic drawings composed of marks that refer directly to spatial and temporal measures of the body, as well as to attempts to repeatedly delineate and reveal its shifting boundaries.

Drawing Gym is an ongoing project that infuses the activity of drawing with the regimens of physical exercise. Hundreds have participated in the project's various formats, which have included workshops, individual sessions, drawing installations, ongoing personal training relationships, and a performance group. This project uses traditional drawing tools and strenuous exercise to explore the contours of human embodiment as a repetitive and performative act, and suggests our physical and psychic boundaries are flexible and dynamic, constantly in flux, and move to the degree we push against them. Drawing Gym interrogates these contours, and explores the potential of transformation in the simple act of making marks.





born: 1971, Oakland, California


San Francisco State University, MFA, 2009
University of California Santa Barbara, MEd, 1996
University of California Santa Barbara, BA, 1993

selected awards/honors

Tanne Foundation Award, 2012
San Francisco Arts Commission Cultural Equity Grant, 2011
Investing in Artists Grant, Center for Cultural Innovation, 2011
James Rosenquist Artist Residency, North Dakota State University, 2010

selected publications

Gattinger, Katrin. "À Portée de Main, de Pied ou de Roue," Espaces dessinés / Espaces du dessin, Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, p. 157-162, 2014.
Gunderson, Dan. "Art Meets Fitness at Exhibit in Fargo," Minnesota Public Radio News, Fargo, North Dakota. 2010

selected solo or two-person exhibits

The Frost Art Museum, Baby Pictures and the People's Lullaby Collective, Miami, Florida, 2013
Bayview Hunters Point YMCA, Drawing Gym 2: This Time It's Personal, San Francisco, California, 2012
Incline Gallery, Down, San Francisco, California, 2011
NDSU Memorial Union Gallery, Drawing Gym, Fargo, North Dakota, 2010

selected group shows

Draw to Perform, Drawing and Performance symposium, Arebyte Gallery, London, England, 2013
MATCHA: Taking Up Space, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, California, 2012
Time, The Lab, San Francisco, California, 2011
Beyond Surface, Kearny Street Workshop, San Francisco, California, 2011

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