Cindy Shih

Artist Statement

My work has been described as accessible, eerily thought-provoking— but most poignantly, harbors a haunting, dark undercurrent which I believe, speaks to the repressive nature of what it takes to succeed in this world as a “model minority.” My art draws from my personal experience, but aims to give voice and connect with others through a shared narrative. I am inspired by ordinary women who have simply existed, persevered, and endured societal pressures to empower me to create. And I am motivated: because I am finally seeing feminism evolve past a faceless, mass movement, into a global emergence of individuals. Art does not need to be complacent to its contemporary labels. Nothing is more intrinsically rewarding to me than that brief, powerful moment when my work transcends, connects, and communicates a shared understanding between me and another human being. Those are my moments of immense and overwhelming gratitude. This is how I want to make my mark, its what keeps me determined, and this is how I feel Art can bring positive change.


I grew up in a model immigrant Chinese family who wanted me the best contradictions for me: to be self sufficient in order to find a sugar daddy, and to be a free-thinking woman so I could successfully assimilate to society. Up into my thirties, things looked good: I had a great job at Google and was engaged to a nice, Chinese boy from a wonderful family. Then, one day, I took a mallet to the illusion, shattered my world, and I became a painter. I painted because it gave me a voice I never knew I had before, I painted because I no longer wanted to be silent. I wanted to be the voice for the generations of strong, educated women in my family who coped with mental illness, and years of physical and emotional abuse. I wanted to scream at the hypocrisy in the way I was lovingly raised to be,“someone else’s wife,” and I was no longer satisfied with silently living up to someone else’s expectations. I wanted to contribute more as an individual, as a woman, and as a citizen. I decided that as an artist, I can do much more than just voice my concerns: I could be the hands that shape the definition of Art and pave the way for generations to come.



Art | Song Salon, San Francisco, CA
Co-founder and visual art curator of Art | Song Salon, an intimate setting bringing a community together through visual art and acoustic music

ART TEACHER (2013- Present)
Presidio Knolls School, San Francisco, CA
Teaching a Reggio-Emilia inpsired art curriculum in a private, Mandarin immersion pre-school

Self, San Francisco, CA 2012 – Present
Manage social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, GoComics, Pinterest) for Roxx at 2SpiritTattoo and Angry Little Girls by Lela Lee

Google, Inc. Beijing, China 2008
First Account Manager in Google Beijing office. Segmented and analyzed state of Chinese unau- thorized resellers to forecast and identify potential for agency business in China

Google, Inc. San Francisco, CA 2006-2012
Manage display advertising accounts for world’s third largest advertising conglomerates: Interpub- lic Group and WPP

City of Berkeley Civic Arts Commission, Berkeley, CA 2004-2005
Oversaw approval and installation of the Addison Street Poetry Panels and organized a sold-out poetry premiere night, featuring prominent Bay Area poets. Negotiated and drove the process for installing the David Brower “Sphere” sculpture in the Berkeley Marina and the “Berkeley Big Peo- ple” sculpture on I-80 bike bridge

B.A. Communication Studies

Coursework in German Language, Film, Theater, and Literature

Coursework in Life Drawing, Oil Painting, and Creative Advertising


deYoung Museum, “Expand: 18th Annual New Generations Student Showcase,” San Francisco, CA April 2014

The Embassy, “Unattainable, an Art | Song Salon” San Francisco, CA March 2014

Arc Gallery, “Choice,” Juried Show, San Francisco, CA December 2013
Juror: Catharine Clark, Owner and Director of Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco

​ArtSpan Open Studios: Fort Mason Center and Oakdale Painting Studios, San Francisco, CA, October 2013

Sacramento Fine Arts Center, “Bold Expressions 2013,” Juried Show “Expression of Excellence” Award Winner, Carmichael, CA, October 2013
Juror: Barry Sagaka, Owner and Curator of b. saka garo Gallery

Pacific Art League, “Water Media on Paper,” Selected for Juried Show, Palo Alto, CA, September 2013
Juror: Ronald Pratt, California Watercolor Association

​Sanchez Art Center, “Shifting the Body,” Artist in Juried Group Show, Pacifica, CA July 2013 Curator: Pamela Ybanez

SOMArts Main Gallery, Asian American Women Artists Association, “underCurrents & the Quest for Space” Artist in Juried Group Show, San Francisco, May 2013
Juror(s): Jay Xu, Director of the Asian Art Museum San Francisco, and Linda Inson Choy, Curator of Contemporary Asian Art

SF RAW, Natural Born Artists, “Provocations,” Featured Artist in Juried Art Show, San Francisco, October 2012

Big Umbrella Gallery, Artist in “From the Darkness Creeps,” Group Show, October 2012

33 Gough St. Gallery, “A Time to Reflect, New Works by Cindy Shih,” San Francisco, CA 2012 City College of San Francisco

City College of San Francisco, Visual Arts Gallery Annual Student Exhibition, Juried Show San Francisco, CA 2012
Juror: John Wehrle, Richmond Art Center

Bar Basic San Francisco, Head Curator and Exhibitor for “Nevermind” and “Red” Art Show, San Francisco, CA 2010 and 2011

UCLA Advertising and Marketing Team, Creative Art Director, American Advertising Federation, National Student Advertising Competition, Los Angeles, CA 2002-2003

Royce Hall, Curator and Exhibitor for “Paradox of Progress” Art Show, Los Angeles, CA 2002