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Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide Ocula Conversation Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide

Ongoing since 2012, the Real DMZ Project interrogates the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea through annual, research-based exhibitions that bring together the works of Korean and international artists. Sunjung Kim, the independent curator behind the project, conceived the idea of exploring the DMZ while curating Japanese artist...

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Frieze Week Lowdown: London Shows to See Ocula Report Frieze Week Lowdown: London Shows to See 20 Sep 2019 : Tessa Moldan for Ocula

London's galleries and museums are gearing up for a lively October, with Frieze London and Frieze Masters running between 3 and 6 October 2019 at Regent's Park, along with 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, taking place across the same dates at Somerset House; and the tenth anniversary of the Sunday Art Fair, showcasing new and emerging artists...

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Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum Ocula Insight | Video Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum 16 August 2019

Mark Bradford walks through Mark Bradford: Los Angeles Mark Bradford: Los Angeles at the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai (27 July–13 October 2019) is the artist's largest solo exhibition to date in China. In this video for Ocula, Bradford and Diana Nawi, curator of the show, walk through selected works that convey the artist's concerns with...

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Oscar Murillo

b. 1986, Colombia

Born in La Paila, Colombia, Oscar Murillo emigrated to the United Kingdom with his family as a child. He studied at the Royal College of Art in London, during which time he also worked as an office cleaner to support himself. Upon graduating in 2012, Murillo quickly developed a reputation for his stitched paintings; since then, his reputation has expanded to include drawings, sculptures, installations, films and performances, guided by the artist's fascination with the fluid concepts of identity, community and binaries.

Sewn together using old sewing machines, Murillo's stitched canvases are often covered in oil paint (applied with a broomstick) and unconventional materials including paper pulp, thread, cement dye and dust. They also frequently show traces of shoe soles and dirt from the artist working on the floor in his studio. Text also often features, including as single words such as 'chorizo', 'yoga' and 'milk', written in large letters and bright colours or black in a series of untitled paintings from 2012.

Murillo's experience as an immigrant has been a driving force in his works that explore themes of displacement and identity. meet me! Mr Superman (2013–15)—shown at his 2015 solo exhibition binary function at David Zwirner in London—is a film that follows the artist's friends in La Paila on the morning of New Year's Day. Shot from a point-of-view perspective, the film highlights the artist's disparate identities: originally born as a Columbian but now living in the United Kingdom, Murillo becomes a temporary visitor in his old hometown.

Another recurrent theme in Murillo's work is a concern with postcolonial and socioeconomic disparities. In 2016, while on his way to the 20th Biennale of Sydney Murillo flushed his British passport down the toilet as an impromptu performance that challenged the notion of privilege bestowed upon certain passports. He was detained at the airport upon arriving in Australia and, despite having his Colombian passport, was deported two days later. Murillo similarly commented on present-day colonial tendencies in international biennials through his work The Coming of the Europeans (2017), a large-scale banner across which the title is repeated, conceived for the inaugural Kathmandu Triennale in 2017.

In 2018, Murillo turned his attention to consumption and labour in Collective Conscience (2018), a large-scale installation conceived for the 10th Berlin Biennale. In the courtyard of Akademie der Künste, Murillo placed industrial ovens that baked rock-like loaves that, after they left the ovens, were sheathed inside long fabric garments. Some of the fabrics were inscribed with workers' slogans and maps of trade routes, bringing attention to the disenfranchised labourers behind the production of commodities that permeate our everyday life.

Murillo has exhibited internationally at David Zwirner, Hong Kong (2018); YARAT Contemporary Art Centre, Baku (2016); Centro Cultural Daoíz y Velarde, Madrid (2015); Showroom MAMA, Rotterdam (2013); South London Gallery (2013); and the Serpentine Gallery, London (2012), among others. At the 56th Venice Biennale (2015), the artist displayed works from his 'Frequencies' project (2013–ongoing). The project involves dispatching blank canvases to schools around the world to be completed by students between 10 and 16 years of age.

Murillo lives and works in East London.

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2018
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Featured Artworks

fossil by Oscar Murillo contemporary artwork
Oscar Murillofossil, 2016–2018 Oil, oil stick and silkscreen on canvas and linen
290 x 305 cm
Taka Ishii Gallery

Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Oscar Murillo, Poetics of Flight at David Zwirner, New York
18 June–28 July 2019 Oscar Murillo Poetics of Flight David Zwirner
Contemporary art exhibition, Oscar Murillo, Manifestation at David Zwirner, London
8 June–26 July 2019 Oscar Murillo Manifestation David Zwirner, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Group exhibition, Group exhibition at Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo
23 March–27 April 2019 Group exhibition Group exhibition Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Ocula Report: SP-Arte 2016 Ocula Report Ocula Report: SP-Arte 2016 26 Apr 2016 : Camila Belchior for Ocula

In amidst so much scandalous news coming out of Brazil about its deep rooted corruption, plummeting GDP, rocketing inflation and the recent Congressional vote for president Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment, there is good news from SP-Arte, the country’s international modern and contemporary art fair.Oscar Niemeyer’s Bienal...

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In Related Press

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Tate Britain announced today the four artists who have been shortlisted for the 2019 Turner Prize: Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Helen Cammock, Oscar Murillo, and Tai Shani. The artists were nominated for works that investigate crime, explore social histories, and transport viewers to another time and place.

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Oscar Murillo transforms energy into dynamic art Related Press Oscar Murillo transforms energy into dynamic art The Korea Times : 10 December 2018

Oscar Murillo is an artist of energy who encapsulates the instability of his contemporaries living in the 21st century, who cannot truly feel a sense of belonging or stability. The artist is holding Catalyst, his first solo exhibition in Korea, at Kukje Gallery in downtown Seoul.

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Oscar Murillo: the build-up of content and information at David Zwirner (Hong Kong) Related Press Oscar Murillo: the build-up of content and information at David Zwirner (Hong Kong) Arte Fuse : 27 September 2018

In recent years, Murillo has traveled extensively throughout the world to research and prepare exhibitions and other projects, making works both in the studio and in unexpected locations.

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Oscar Murillo Hangs Black Flags in Palestinian East Jerusalem Related Press Oscar Murillo Hangs Black Flags in Palestinian East Jerusalem Hyperallergic : 23 November 2017

EAST JERUSALEM — At the end of a narrow alleyway in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-Amud, a maze of hanging black canvases have obscured the Silwan Club's concrete courtyard. They are the size of bed sheets — draped over clotheslines, hung in layers around the community center's small outdoor space. Their fraying ends hang...

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In Video & Audio

Cut & Paste: Oscar Murillo and Modou Dieng on when art gets political Related Video & Audio Cut & Paste: Oscar Murillo and Modou Dieng on when art gets political St. Louis Public Radio : 25 October 2018

Artist Oscar Murillo's installation now on view at Kranzberg Arts Foundation evokes a very strange political protest, one in which no single cause is apparent but it's clear that passions run high.

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