Jear Keokham is an artist, writer, educator, and independent curator. He was born in 1992 in Oakland, CA and currently splits his time living in the East Bay and working in San Francisco. Keokham graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2018 with a BA in Art Practice and a Minor in History of Art with an emphasis in Contemporary Art Theory and Philosophy. From his studies, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence in New Genres, inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, and was recognized for High Distinction in General Scholarship.

Keokham was a Creative Dissent Fellow in Escuela de Arte Útil at YBCA in 2017, and the 2018 Summer Curatorial Intern for Contemporary Art at SFMOMA. He has been included in exhibitions at the Worth Ryder Art Gallery in Berkeley, Southern Exposure, and Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco, and various alternative art spaces throughout the Bay Area.

Fundamentally, Keokham identifies as a cultural accelerator to detest the hierarchy of labels. In other words, he does not prioritize any particular practice over another.

He approaches work with a neoliterati philosophy, an independent study that renovates the Chinese literati tradition where the essential qualities of an idea are prioritized over the realistic rendering of an object or thing. Keokham actively cites histories and speculative futures through research based processes appropriated from various fields of study as a modality of conceptualism.

His interests in philosophy, politics, and popular culture are also fermented into his lexicon. Often times, humor and poetic tropes will surface as conveniences in some work while critical intensities are central to others. With a concentration that can be both pseudo in nature and pragmatic in means, Keokham seeks to marry elements of unlikely harmony to confront power structures, social stratifications, and symbolic positionalities through populist yet cryptic gestures.

His guide to art making is that his work needs not to be understood as art in order for it to function and that function itself needs not to be a prerequisite for the existence of said work. The meditation of this principle allows Keokham to maintain a continual aspiration toward contemplative freedom as a neoliterati conceptualist.