Cynthia Tom is a visual multi-media artist, passionate about social justice, women’s issues and playing with the accepted norm. Surrealism is the platform for her ideas to ruminate, take form, solutions discovered and color to inspire.
A seeker and philosopher about issues in her life, her ancestors and the community of women, she is inspired by dialog with friends and family, forming new themes and stories for her work. Collaboration and brainstorming are her playgrounds.
Her work has been exhibited at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, the De Young Museum, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and various other galleries from New York to Washington to San Francisco. She lectures on her work, issues related to women, feminism in the arts and Asian American women in the arts, most recently for the College Art Association’s Annual Conference.
Cynthia is included in the text book, “Women Artists of the American West”, edited by Susan Ressler, University of Purdue and “Traces of Migration and In-Betweeness: Poetics and Politics in Post-colonial Asian Women Artists”, by Laura Fantone PhD, SF Art Institute ,University of Padua Press, Italy. Cynthia is currently Board President, Exhibitions Curator and Programs Chair of AAWAA, Asian American Women Artists Association.
A third-generation Chinese American, Cynthia draws inspiration from divergent
cultures. The resulting contradictions are expressed in a variety of ways. Eastern and Western symbols often share space on the same canvas. Fanciful dresses portray a prophetic wish for people to raise their consciousness and her strong female images evoke a longing for freedom of expression and a life of choice.
Symbols, cues and clues fill her art, which is described as “Cultural Surrealism”.
Cynthia’s paintings and installations persuade us to look beyond the aesthetic--to challenge stereotypes and traditional roles, questioning paradigms and
encourages our internal dialogue.