Kawayan de Guia

b. 1979, Philippines
Lives and works in Baguio City, Philippines

Kawayan de Guia is an artist and curator whose practice spans painting, installation and sculpture. His artworks use indigenous and colonial artefacts, playfully transforming them into lavish and often ironic critiques of consumerism, global trade and the impact of the American occupation of the Philippines.

Kawayan draws upon a wide array of Filipino culture including materials such as Jeepneys, Dangwa buses, jukeboxes, torpedoes and Ifugao rice gods. By juxtaposing remnants of differing periods, meanings and methods of production, Kawayan unfolds the precarious narratives in which these objects come into being, and how they shape the complex social and political milieu of the mountainous Cordillera region in which the artist’s work is deeply embedded.

In 2012, the artist initiated ‘AX(iS) Art Project’, a biannual festival that engages curators and contemporary artists with local communities and artisans. In 2014, he participated in ‘Markets of Resistance’, a collaborative art project that allowed members of the public to barter for artworks. Kawayan’s ‘De Liberating a Fall’ (2014) consisted of a large-scale Statue of Liberty mounted above Baguio City Public Market. The work interrogates the ‘liberating’ force of capitalism and the economic impacts of globalisation on domestic workers and regional trade.

Biography information from Ocula, July 2023

Country: Philippines