Commonwealth and Council

Mark the Unmarked

Guiyoung Hwang


In Mark the Unmarked, Guiyoung Hwang researches graffiti and graffiti removal programs throughout Southern California. Equipped with a reflective vest and a paint roller, the artist “tags” around Los Angeles with marks that mirror the painted over minimalist afterimages by the Office of Community Beautification (OCB). The doubling of these marks through mimicry of OCB’s tactics of graffiti removal highlights the ambiguous and socially constructed differentiation between vandalism and art. 

Guiyoung Hwang was born in 1983 in Masan, South Korea and received her MFA from CalArts in 2012. Hwang’s practice consists of fieldwork (research) and performative interventions in urban landscape. Recording her activities through photographs, dialogical documents and videos, Hwang uses various forms of mimicry and erasure to address plasticity of subjectivity in-between the sectors of private and public in contemporary cityscape. She lives and works in Los Angeles and Seoul.