Rea Lynn De Guzman

Artist Statement

My work explores psychological and socio-political themes surrounding liminal identity, cultural assimilation, and the Filipino/a diaspora, all tempered by my experience as a Filipina immigrant living in the United States. Since childhood, I have moved repeatedly within my native and adoptive country. These migrations created not only geographic shifts, but also an intricate familial and personal disconnect interposed with cultural fusion and perplexity. As a result, I explore themes of transition, variant multiples, repetitive layer, detail, and inexplicable ruptures. Interlaced within these notions, oxymoronic concepts play significant roles: assimilation and repudiation, reductive and additive, permanence and temporality, reality and phantasm, the use of modest materials elevated through art, and the complicit relationship between colonizer and colonized.

Materiality also imbues my work with added complexity – the symbolism inherent in specific materials. For example, my current work employs wax, an ephemeral medium, which allows exploration of memory’s fallibility and the blur between history and fiction. I also use muslin, a pedestrian fabric, treated obsessively with multi-layer silkscreen printing to evoke a certain affect. Yet another example involves using synthetic organza instead of silk. By utilizing the inauthentic, I draw attention to western notions of beauty and cultural ideals ingrained in the east through colonization and its modern legacy.

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