Kathy Guo is an interdisciplinary maker at the Maryland Institute College of Art, working with wood, fibers, and emerging digital tools. Her practice involves making playable objects that are about culture, relationships, family, and childhood. Her love is also in exploring the potential of materials and texture. What can they do that is new, interesting and exciting? She draws inspiration from Chinese idioms, exercise park equipment, exploring individualism vs. collectivism, as well as her experiences growing up Asian in America.
Kathy’s work questions the different ways in which we can understand, feel, and learn about interpersonal dynamics. In the age of nuclear homes and social media, a new distance removes us from the comfort and familiarity of working together. Understanding each other requires us to find a balance through compromise and cooperation. Reflecting on the Chinese values that she grew up with, she seeks to examine and introduce an immersive space where we can once again remind ourselves of what it means to work with one another, find strength in balance, and perhaps gain a better understanding of our place in our community. As children, our social skills, grasp of teamwork, and problem-solving were developed the most through play. Thus, in revisiting a thoughtless, freeform state of play, what can we learn about ourselves and each other? Using materials nostalgic of our childhood, such as wooden blocks, soft stuffed forms, and bright colors, she creates a unique experience that captures an authenticity in emotion and the excitement of discovery.