Kiwha Lee Blocman is a visual artist based in New York City and Singapore. Her work speaks to visual perception and the dismantling of pictorial hierarchy. She questions what Painting is in the 21st century and the cultural perceptions it can challenge in an increasingly siloed world. Nominated for the Sovereign Asian Art Prize in 2018, she has exhibited at Fergus McCaffrey (Chelsea), Ortega y Gasset Projects, Deanna Evans Projects, Far x Wide (Brooklyn), Leroy Neiman Gallery, 205 Hudson Gallery, Mother Gallery, Collar Works (New York), and Chan+Hori Gallery (Singapore) among others. Her work has been featured prominently in publications like Vulture, The Business Times, Asian Art News and Harper's BAZAAR. Kiwha was selected by the Visual Arts Development Association for the 'Untapped' series as one of ten artists in Singapore to discover in 2016 and was also a finalist for the Harper's Bazaar Art Prize 2016. She has held residency at Chautauqua Institution in 2016 (New York) and the NPE Art Residency in 2018 (Singapore). Kiwha attended Columbia University for a post-baccalaureate in advanced painting and is currently working towards her MFA in Studio Art (Painting) at Hunter College in New York City.
Having first attended UNSW College of Fine Arts then the University of Technology Sydney for her undergrad in Australia, her background holds a unique mix of visual-social, art historical and 'big idea' visionary thinking. Early on in her creative career, Kiwha headed up Apple's strategy for Japan as an original team member of TBWA\Media Arts Lab (Apple's dedicated California-based confidential creative incubator) during the lead up to the launch of the iPhone. Drawing from lived global experience and having tasted firsthand what it is to imagine and change the future, Kiwha today channels the empathy and knowledge of a culture miner—keenly interested in philosophy, social anthropology and brain science to explore the shapes of identity, time and inequality. Influenced by her love of travel and mission to challenge arbitrary boundaries, Kiwha founded the influential art space, THE FLAT, from 2013-2018 in Singapore where high/low hierarchies between fine art and craft were purposely removed. The daughter of an urban planner academic and a novelist, Kiwha was born in Seoul and raised on four continents, namely in the cities of New York, Sydney, Seoul, Boston and London.