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Primary Projects Cofounder and Wynwood Mural Pioneer Chris Oh Dead at 35

Primary Projects Cofounder and Wynwood Mural Pioneer Chris Oh Dead at 35
via Chris Oh's Facebook

Long before Wynwood became a mecca for selfie-snapping tourists, microbreweries, and international retailers, Chris Oh was there turning blank warehouse walls into art. Oh was a pioneer of Miami's street mural scene. He started Culture Kings, an influential Design District boutique, and cofounded the Primary Projects art gallery.

Oh died this week. He was 35 years old. It's not clear yet how he died.

"He played a seminal role in Miami's mural scene," says Carlos Suarez de Jesus, an artist and New Times contributor who has worked with Primary Projects for years. "He and his partners were doing that long before Tony Goldman or anyone else moved into Wynwood."

Primary Projects Cofounder and Wynwood Mural Pioneer Chris Oh Dead at 35
Courtesy photo

Oh was born in New York and moved to South Florida in the early '90s. His Culture Kings became a go-to spot for exclusive street wear, complete with a sticker-plastered bathroom. Along with fellow artists Cristina Gonzalez, Typoe Gran, and Books Bischof, Oh founded Primary Projects, an artist-centered, interdisciplinary gallery which opened on the edge of midtown and the Design District in 2007. Oh worked as a curator at Primary from 2010 until 2013. (His former partners declined to comment on this story.)

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Primary Projects routinely presented some of the most-talked about art in Miami, regularly making international headlines during Art Basel with shows like Miru Kim's performance, where she spent more than 100 hours naked in a pen with live hogs. 

Friends and colleagues remembered Oh on Facebook as a generous collaborator and a brilliant creative mind.

Primary Projects Cofounder and Wynwood Mural Pioneer Chris Oh Dead at 35
via Facebook
Primary Projects Cofounder and Wynwood Mural Pioneer Chris Oh Dead at 35
via Facebook

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