Innovative QTPoC Space Offers Art, Activism, and Cosmetology

“Mutant Salon” is a radical QTPoC-centered artistic and cultural space founded by Korean-American transgender artist Young Joon Kwak and her partner Marvin Astorga. Founded in 2012, it is a nomadic art gallery, beauty salon, and community center that has inhabited venues such as the Hammer Museum, The Broad, REDCAT, and the Honor Fraser Gallery.

Currently, the space is housed at the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) in California. The current theme for the space is "Cavernous," a "kaleidoscopic environment that queers the last bastion of manhood in the domestic space - the man cave." The aim of artist’s current iteration of the space is to "provide an access point for an ongoing critical deconstruction of how we view our bodies and reimagines alternative forms of existence and desire."

“Mutant Salon” is truly a living, collaborative space. There is an undeniable freedom of movement and interaction usually not present in conventional art installations. The viewers become guests and participants in the art, with several pieces designed to be inhabited such as the zine library corner, avant garde seating, and a video game console surrounded by bean bags.

The space also hosts community events which include July 20th's "Oral Histories of Queer Resistance,"  a speaker’s forum organized in collaboration with Dirty Looks LA, and an upcoming event titled "Black TED" on August 11.

Further reading:

Mutant Salon (about page)

Beautiful Mutant: Young Joon Kwak (Artillery) 

Young Joon Kwak’s Trans/Feminine Visions (Hyperallergic)


The Workshop @ The EFNIKS Daily is our writing program for young QTPoC writers. Each of the 5 writers identify as QTPoC, and are between the ages of 17 and 22. Program participants receive a $200 stipend for the 60-day program. You can help us build this and other EFNIKS programs by visiting our support page.