Yong-Man Kwon is a four-time official painter for the French armed forces. He lives and works in Paris.
Born on June 8, 1972, in South Korea, Kwon’s artistic journey has taken him across the globe, shaping his unique perspective and enhancing his skills.
His early years in South Korea were marked by a childhood fascination with drawing and painting. During middle school a drawing teacher recognized Kwon’s exceptional talent, urging his parents to guide him toward a prestegious art school. With the support of his family, he successfully navigated the entrance exams and embarked on a three-year art education journey.
Upon reaching the age of recruitment, Kwon served two and a half years in the military. After completing his military service and in pursue of change Yong-Man obtained a visa for the United States, attending Hunter College in Brooklyn, giving him the opportunity to study and admire American hyperrealism.
At 27, he returned to Korea via France, where he learned about the French Foreign Legion. Motivated by the chance to take his future in his own hands, Kwon joined the Legion, serving for five years as a draftsman in the Information and Historical Bureau. His artistic talents did not go unnoticed, and he contributed to projects for the monthly magazine “Képi Blanc” and illustrated books for the Ministry of Defense.
Over the years, he became a four-time official painter for the French armed forces, earning the prestigious rank of corporal-chef. His contributions extended to the land, air and space, navy, and gendarmerie branches.
Beyond his official duties, Kwon’s civilian work spans diverse subjects, from portraits and landscapes to depictions of still lifes. His artistic versatility, characterized by vivid colors and a keen eye for light, has earned him recognition globally.
Notable accolades include a bronze medal at the French artists fair in 2004 and a prize from the Taylor Foundation in 2008. Kwon’s monumental fresco graces the walls of the Military Conservatory of the Versailles-Satory army.
Today, Yong-Man Kwon continues to captivate audiences with his dynamic and emotive creations, showcased in exhibitions around the world, while having the status of as one of the leading contemporary artists in 21st-century France.
MEDIUM: Oil and acrylic on canvas