Mike Han is a Detroit based artist and designer.
The House of Han is a body of work, a studio, and a home in historic Rosedale Park.
My artwork is a meditative practice that seeks to develop a better understanding of self and identity while connecting deeper with people and the planet. I strive to find dynamic balance through organic yet deliberate mark making on carefully considered materials to explore my heritage, contemplate sustainability, and support people and projects in need.
I believe that by focusing on breath, thinking positively, and being kind and considered with actions on a daily basis I can and will create positive change in my life and others. I believe becoming a strong individual is the first step in being part of a healthy community.
My process of mark making reveals the truth that we are all connected. We are all different, yet we are also the same. We are all mark makers sharing the same place, no one better or more important than another, all essential to society. We all impact people and the planet whether we know it or not through the choices we make in our daily lives. This truth is often too close for us to see, and so my artwork is focused on revealing the under appreciated, humble moments of life that comprise most of our lives.
I have come to the sobering realization that in order to create, you must destroy. For this reason, I describe much of my work as Modern Vandalism: the mindful act of destroying materials, objects, and/or space in an effort to create value. With this ethos, I see products, and all things that are made having a life and death. With this in mind, I believe there is a great responsibility in how we make things as they exist long past their usefulness.
My paintings and carvings are like fingerprints bearing my unique personal signature with each expression. These works are my entire self, each one different but very much the same. They are moments in time slowly evolving over time. Engraved in each work are the experiences and influences of my past often made with techniques that honor thousands of years of Korean art and craft.
It pains me that I may never be able to master a craft like my ancestor Han Seok-bong (master calligrapher for the Joseon royal court), live in complete harmony with nature, or be altruistic, but my life and work are one and they are dedicated to creating, consuming, and communicating more meaningfully so that my impact might be positive for people and the planet.
Mike was born in Ann Arbor, MI to Korean immigrants. His mother landed in Detroit's Cass Corridor and his father in Ypsilanti, both during the early 70's. Mike is a Cheongju Han, also referred to as "House of Han", a noble Korean family (yangban) with royal ancestry.
Mike has exhibited artwork in Seoul, Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Miami. He has created work for clients in NYC, Chicago, and Osaka, Japan. Han has been commissioned to make art for Bloomingdale's 150th Anniversary, Detroit Pistons, Google for Startups, Ford Motor Co., LinkedIn, Sommerset Collection, and has created art installations for Red Bull, vitaminwater, and ArtPrize.
Han has had paintings acquired by Mercedes Benz Financial Services, Huntington Bank, Henry Ford Health Systems, Shinola Hotel, The Daxton Hotel, Paramount Pictures and prominent leaders like Cindy Pasky and Dan Gilbert. He has collaborated with brands like MarxModa (on MillerKnoll products), Model No. Furniture, SEE Eyewear, Coffeehaus, Leon Speakers, Mothfire Beer, and Synecdoche Design.
Mike has made the front page of the Detroit News and the cover of SEEN Magazine, has been featured on BBC World News, Dwell, Cool Hunting, designboom, Architecture's Digest, Apartment Therapy, Design Milk, Urban Outfitters Blog, Live in the D, and the Detroit Free Press.
Mike has been an awards juror for ArtPrize, Ann Arbor Street Art Fair (The Original), and The CSCA's Creative Best Awards. Han was the recipient of a Red Bull Micro Grant and an Art Prize Equity Grant.
Since 2021, Han has helped raise over $275,000 for charitable causes in his effort to make a positive impact with his artistic practice connecting his art practice tangibly with the purpose that drives his creations. Mike was the keynote speaker for the 2023 APACC Gala, was a guest speaker for Strategic Staffing Solution's all hands meeting and was featured on the popular podcast The Good Life Project.
For a deeper understanding of what drives Mike's practice, read My Story.
My cat Tum Tum, aka tummy tum, aka chubby chub is a certified emotional support animal and serves as my primary mental health care provider. Tum has FIV (feline AIDS), one squished little ear, and was adopted from the Michigan Humane Society when he was 8 years old. He greets every guest visiting at Mikes home & studio first because he's a gentleman, and won't leave them alone until they pet him profusely. He needs all the attention.