San Rafael, CA
Richly colored paintings and mixed media art works, Cynthia Tom’s cultural surrealism is informed by her familial and feminine life experiences. She weaves together themes of social justice, feminism and outlandish haute couture clothing. Seen through the lens of her spirituality and whimsy she helps us to play with our concepts of reality. Her art is her source of empowerment and a way to encourage dialogue within individuals and community. At heart a Found Object artist, she expresses herself through paintings, mixed media assemblage and art installations. Using acrylic paint, wood, fabric, paper and any manner of found objects, each art work starts with a simple idea, image or phrase. Relying heavily on her intuition her work develops like the unfolding of a story. The use of intense color and bold female imagery dictated by surreal perspectives are her trademarks. Arresting her analytical mind, she finds the narratives in her finished work, often, predict her (not too distant) future and of the social temperature of the times and communities she cares about.
A San Francisco to San Rafael transplant and 3rd generation Chinese American, my work is often referred to as a Social or Cultural Surrealist, Visual Artist, Community Curator and board president of the Asian American Women Artists Association (AAWAA).
My art process and curatorial work has cemented a passion for holding artistic space for women to heal and transform. This has manifested in a long term project, “A PLACE OF HER OWN,” (a culturally informed arts based healing and transformation project).
I lecture on issues and create programs related to women of color, feminism and Asian American women in the arts. Some notable awards are ABC/KGO Profiles in Excellence Leadership, SOMArts Curatorial Fellow 2015. My work has been shown at the Legion of Honor, the de Young Museum, SOMArts Cultural Center, Los Gatos Museum of Art, California Institute of Integral Studies, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Gallery Route One, Pt. Reyes.
Most recently, I’ve been invited to digitally archive my work at the Ca Ethnic and Multicultural Archives, UC Santa Barbara and my work has been included in 2 textbooks Women Artists’ of the American West, Univ of Purdue, Susan Ressler and Asian American Art in Post-Colonial Times – University of Padua, by Dr. Laura Fantone, Professor SF Art Institute.
My work has been featured in the New York Time’s SF Arts Monthly, SF Chronicle, Psychology Today, the Marin Independent Journal, DigitalJournal.com and on KPFA, NPR and KPOO radio. http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/360847