I’ve known Kawayan since he was a baby, well okay not really, I first met him and his family through tatay Kidlat’s spaghetti films. 15 years after that first encounter, we had a collaboration of sorts for his exhibit BOMBA which is actually on display until December at the UP Vargas Museum. For this exhibition, I made a video montage that was projected on the wall alongside his jukeboxes and primordial mirror bomb installation that blasts out well-picked music. I wish I was there to see how it all came together but it was actually here in Paris that I finished making the video…

A painter, a performance artist, a photographer, an installation artist, a sculptor, a conceptual artist, a rockstar, a good friend… caucasian looking but very much Pinoy – KAWAYAN DE GUIA is all of this and so much more…


LILINDOL MUNA BAGO PUPUTOK - outdoor installation, katipunan baguio city


When did you realize that you are an artist?

Well, I think the word art or artist is such a big word but let us say I was always leaning towards that direction and it was probably one of the only things I excelled in.

What led you to your art now?

One thing leads you to the next thing… In that manner it’s a sort of quest and you are on this journey connecting the dots… At the moment I am very much interested in sound and sound sculptures. Since sound has a way of impacting you directly in comparison to the visual arts.




How would you describe your style? What are your themes?

My style? hahahaha STYLE BULOK… As much as possible I try not to limit myself and try any medium or even themes but whether you like it or not there are things that repeats itself… But if you are asking me what themes, I’d basically say I like to tell stories.

Bend that straight line, break that wall, cross that border, we’re all different, don’t compare me, don’t label me, i am what i am…



Do you have a ritual that you do before you start the creation? Share with us your process…

I think in my case I have a lot of rituals before the work is created during and even perhaps after. I believe in the two forces…black and white, day or night or in and out. I most of the time have to saturate myself outside or in the streets since a lot of my ideas come from there and when I’m so full of it that’s when I get in the studio and turn into some sorta hermit and get it all out.

What is it that you want to say through your art?

Well a lot! But I can’t say one thing in general but for me it’s almost the only way I can keep afloat or live is by going through that process of what we call art-making and I think it’s all about the process. How to get there from point A to point B… Manifesting an idea of course we want to reach out to our audience and try to make an impact or an impression on them and try to make them see things in a different angle, but I also think we have to find new ways of perceiving even conceiving ones art-making to start with. Therefore it does not become the artist on a pedestal saying look at this… here we stand together on the same platform in dialogue. So perhaps the artwork becomes more of a key that opens a door to bigger ideas and issues.


from the exhibit BORED ON THE FOURTH OF JULY





How has your artworks evolved into what it is now?

As I said before I am very much interested in sound and installation… I also think art practice is becoming more complex than just a painting or a photograph. I see it bleeding into other practices like Anthropology, Medicine or Healing and what not… ART IS JUST THE WAY IT PRESENTS ITSELF TO BE, IN THAT UNCONVENTIONAL MANNER.

What was the best lesson you learnt along the way?

Do what you have to do or in what you believe in… Nothing should stop you… In the end that’s what it’s all about… your voice, your unique personal point of view. BATHALA NA!!! and if you are blessed with the talent utilize it to the fullest, stay true to yourself and stay humble, hahaha.



Who are your art influences?

Too many to say but locally I’ll mention a handfull – Roberto Villanueva, Kidlat Tahimik, Santiago Bose, Alfredo Juan Aquilizan and Rene Aquitania… In the end good art is good art! If it strikes a cord in you there must be something there.

What fascinates and inspires you? and how does it influence you and your art?

Pretty much everything I am in contact with at the present… Inspiration has an expiration date hahaha and sometimes presents itself in something dark, but I think what really gets me going are deadlines so I can say TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE.


from the exhibit BOMBA


Where do you want to bring your art? What is its past, present and future?

I’d like my work to be more interactive, I’d also like it to go to places I’d never expect it to be… I highly believe in the subconscious and I want to understand it myself… So there’s a lot of digging and investigating that I have to do with my art practice.




What dream do you still want to fulfill?

I have a calling for Mexico, haha.


What is the art of everyday for you? 

I think it’s the small things in life and that master in the day to day living.

 *** images provided by the artist 



7 thoughts on “Q&A with KAWAYAN DE GUIA

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