Statement

My work evolves from an intuitive, spiritual, passionate process, representing the feminine since the beginning of my professional art career of 30+ years, although I've been creating found object art and collage with my mother since I was a child. I am a painter, mixed media/ collage, assemblage -found object, art installation, photographer and curator who works with surrealism, community, social justice/advocacy, healing, spirituality, and empowerment for women. I believe art that heals women and communities of color is an act of protest and resistance. Helping to tell their stories publicly helps them heal through being witnessed, wakes up the surrounding community, builds compassion and reasons for dialog where there is little to none. Influenced by my experiences as a Chinese American woman, I use art and curatorial projects to tell the hidden stories of my family and women of color, encourage the development of intuition, respect for women, self-love and acceptance. I carry out these concepts, beliefs and passions through my art and the work I did as board president and curator for Asian American Women Artists Association (2008-2019) and through an arts-based healing program I founded, A PLACE OF HER OWN. http://www.aplaceofherown.org I am an artist who uses art making, meditation and spirituality to heal myself and in the sharing of these processes, I have found other women resonating with the same concepts. Philosophy and Focus. Art helps us dig ourselves out of decades of “other people’s rules and expectations to find and celebrate our true identity.” To Heal, To Grow Strength and Power you must explore your ancestral patterns. What happened to twist your family’s coping mechanisms? What historical event reshaped your family forever? You can change the trajectory. My Artistic Focus: Women must rise to be supported: Internal foundations of empowerment, respect and love of self and owning their power must develop in order to grow share of voice. External foundations– everyone else must do all they can so women’s voices are heard, respected and acted upon. Spiritual Intuition and Self-love: Provide ideas/tool and encouragement for self and others to find their inner wisdom, strength and power and voice. Address Political and Cultural Colonization/Gentrification: Educate and Help others to imagine resistance to the status quo through artistic storytelling. Question tradition. Think outside of the box. Explore Ancestral Family Patterns. Selected Press Cynthia Tom, Painter & Community Organizer – Podcast interview by Beyond The Studio - Feb 14, 2019 Hear more from Cynthia on using art as a form of healing and meditation, helping other women overcome past trauma through her organization A Place of Her Own, navigating life as a “re-emerging” artist, and prioritizing self-care while doing community-driven work.

Bio
30 years Cultural Surrealist, Artist, Activist, Curator | Founder: A PLACE of HER OWN | Board President: Asian American Women Artists Association 2008-2019 | Conscious Assertiveness Coach | SoulCollage® Facilitator A mixed-media installation artist, painter and curator, Cynthia’s work is known as a spark for healing and empowerment. Coming from a culture that silences women, she’s learned to use her visual voice as protest to speak truths about her ancestras and the feminine. As a Cultural Curator|Community Art Activist, she integrates cultural roots and community needs to drive Social Change. She is the Founding Director of A PLACE of HER OWN: An arts-based healing program for women of color. Her art and curatorial projects have been exhibited in San Francisco - the Legion of Honor, De Young Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Thoreau Center, SOMArts Cultural Center, California Institute of Integral Studies, internationally in Portugal and Barcelona, nationally at The Smithsonian, Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, Rutgers’s University, Los Gatos Museum of Art, Woman Made Gallery- Chicago, etc. Curatorial awards: de Young Museum Residencies, SOMArts Curatorial Fellowship, Asian American Pacific Islander Cultural Center. Her archives are housed at CA Ethnic and Multicultural Archives - UC Santa Barbara Her feminist work is recognized and archived at the Smithsonian American Art Archives, D.C.
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