Stephanie Syjuco

Stephanie Syjuco was born in Manila, Philippines, in 1974. Syjuco works in photography, sculpture, and installation, moving from handmade and craft-inspired mediums to digital editing. Her work explores the tension between the authentic and the counterfeit, challenging deep-seated assumptions about history, race, and labor.

Syjuco’s installations frequently invite viewers to be active participants, from crocheting counterfeit designer handbags to purchasing items at an alternative gift shop within a museum, in order to investigate global consumerism, capitalism and its effects on artists. Through photographic portraits composed in the studio, Syjuco further explores economies of labor and value, with a political dimension inspired by colonialist ethnographic photography, her identity as an immigrant, and media-filtered protest imagery.

Stephanie Syjuco received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and MFA from Stanford University. Her awards and residencies include the Guggenheim Fellowship (2014), Artadia Fellowship Residency Award at the International Studio and Curatorial Program (2010), Joan Mitchell Painters & Sculptors Award (2009), and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (1997). She has had major exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art (2018); the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2018, 2017, 2011, 2000); Havana Biennial (2015); Asian Art Biennial (2015); Z33 Space for Contemporary Art (2012); ZKM Center for Art and Media Technology (2011); MoMA P.S.1 (2009, 2006); and Whitney Museum of American Art (2005). Syjuco is a long-time educator and currently an assistant professor of sculpture at the University of California, Berkeley. She lives and works in Oakland, California.

Read more

A weekly digest of things to watch, read, and hear from the comforts of your home, selected by Art21-featured artists and Art21 staff.

Conversation Starter

What role does art play in protest?

Protesting policy, war, or social norms, artists challenge the status quo and give voice to a movement.

In the Studio

Stephanie Syjuco

Stephanie Syjuco recalibrated her practice to provide aid for essential workers on the front lines of a global pandemic.

Deep Focus

Whose Speech? Artists, Activists, & Being Heard: A Conversation Between Stephanie Syjuco & Astria Suparak

In this special extended interview, artist Stephanie Syjuco and curator Astria Suparak discuss the role of speech and protest in contemporary art and how working as women of color affects their ability to be heard.

Deep Focus

Cloth is a Battleground in Stephanie Syjuco’s “CITIZENS”

In Stephanie Syjuco’s “CITIZENS,” textiles and cloth become signifiers of the battles over patriotism and identity.

“What I’m doing is absorbing and processing the world around me and it’s becoming political. I don’t think I have a choice anymore; it’s just my reality.”

Stephanie Syjuco