Rea Lynn de Guzman

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Tisay Detail, 2015 © Rea de Guzman
Hybrid, 2015 Monoprint, Sumi Ink, & Acrylic Medium On Yupo Paper 23" X 35" © Rea de Guzman
After Maria Clara's Piña Fiber Sleeve, 2014 Abaca Fiber (Manila Hemp) & Spray Paint On Abaca Pulp Cast 26" X 48" X 18" © Rea de Guzman
Perspectival Perceptions, 2014 Silkscreen On Muslin 38" X 116" (Each) © Rea de Guzman
Pina Piña Diptych & Ang Alamat ng Piña (Detail), 2014 © Rea de Guzman
Ang Alamat ng Piña (The Pineapple Legend), 2014 Image Transfer, Acrylic, & Abaca Fibers In Found Glass Votive Candle Containers 2.5" X 8" Height Each © Rea de Guzman
Ang Alamat ng Piña (Detail), 2014 © Rea de Guzman
Ang Alamat ng Piña (Detail), 2014 © Rea de Guzman
Ang Alamat ng Piña (Detail), 2014 © Rea de Guzman
Ang Alamat ng Piña (Detail), 2014 © Rea de Guzman
Offerings, 2014 Wax Variable Dimensions (Life Size) © Rea de Guzman
Offerings (Detail), 2014 © Rea de Guzman
Offerings (Detail), 2014 Wax, Screen Print On Fabric © Rea de Guzman
Quick Facts
Lives in
San Francisco
Works in
San Francisco
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 2014, MFA
San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI)


Rea (pron. ray-uh) Lynn de Guzman is a San Francisco-based interdisciplinary artist working in painting, print media, and sculpture. Originally from Manila, Philippines, she immigrated to the United States as a teenager. She received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. She has exhibited her work in Chicago, the Bay Area, and internationally in India. She is currently a studio artist and instructor at Root Division, a non-profit art organization in San Francisco. 



My work explores psychological and socio-political themes surrounding liminal identity, cultural assimilation, and the Filipino/a diaspora, 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,  and inexplicable ruptures. Interlaced within these notions, oxymoronic concepts play significant roles: assimilation and repudiation, reductive and additive, permanence and temporality, reality and phantasm, and the complicit relationship between colonizer and colonized.

In my current work, I navigate through the colonial history of the pineapple in the Philippines, the native’s appropriation of piña fiber, and its relationship with the idea of “Maria Clara” (a mestiza character from Jose Rizal’s novel, Noli me Tangere). Originally, Spain introduced the pineapple to the Philippines (from another colony); now, the Philippines is the world’s largest pineapple producer. Piña fiber—extracted from leaves and woven with organza—became an ingredient in traditional, upper-class Filipina women’s clothing known colloquially as “Maria Clara.” The “Maria Clara” evolved into a symbol of Philippine ideals of beauty and status, accompanied by stereotypes of chastity, demureness, light skin, and passivity. Today, popular Philippine concepts regarding beauty and status center on the normalization of skin-whitening products and championing of imported goods. My work presents and challenges the displacement and inferiorization of native ideals by the colonizer, signified by clothing made from a foreign fruit. Through the process of repetitive layering and a palette evoking skin tones, I utilize the tactility of specific materials such as image transfers on synthetic organza to extract and repudiate these imposed ideals and stereotypes—material remnants intertwined with cultural legacies.



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