Artist Statement

Life like art is the best way to describe Nalyne Gunggavakin’s creative process. She believes art making is a sacred ritual that comes from the inner most depth of your soul. She agrees with Mark Rothko that, “art is an anecdote of the human spirit.” Thus, fixation on one particular style has limitation on telling the whole story of the human spirit. Her work reinvigorates and merges formalism, abstract expressionism and gestural mark making to evoke descriptive and narrative properties. The iconography is inspired from her cross cultural experiences, travels, life experiences and nature.

She is an artist and entrepreneur. In addition to a solid fine arts education, she is grateful for having a diverse and rich educational background in Political Economy, Business Administration, Southeast Asian Studies, Anthropology, and foreign languages. These influences and life experiences inform her work conceptually and thematically, creating thought provoking and technically well executed artwork. Climate change and the integration of Eastern philosophies with Western aesthetics are some of her passionate topics. She was able to reconnect with the Thai Forest tradition Buddhism while in graduate school. Ever since then, he incorporates aspects of awareness and mindfulness in her artwork. Whether painting about political issues or nurturing a spiritual calling, she executes the paintings with the Dhamma (Dharma) in mind.

Life like art is the best way to describe Nalyne Gunggavakin’s creative process. She believes art making is a sacred ritual that comes from the inner most depth of your soul. She agrees with Mark Rothko that, “art is an anecdote of the human spirit.” Thus, fixation on one particular style has limitation on telling the whole story of the human spirit. Her work reinvigorates and merges formalism, abstract expressionism and gestural mark making to evoke descriptive and narrative properties. The iconography is inspired from her cross cultural experiences, travels, life experiences and nature.

She is an artist and entrepreneur. In addition to a solid fine arts education, she is grateful for having a diverse and rich educational background in Political Economy, Business Administration, Southeast Asian Studies, Anthropology, and foreign languages. These influences and life experiences inform her work conceptually and thematically, creating thought provoking and technically well executed artwork. Climate change and the integration of Eastern philosophies with Western aesthetics are some of her passionate topics. She was able to reconnect with the Thai Forest tradition Buddhism while in graduate school. Ever since then, he incorporates aspects of awareness and mindfulness in her artwork. Whether painting about political issues or nurturing a spiritual calling, she executes the paintings with the Dhamma (Dharma) in mind.

Nalyne Gunggavakin

Founder And Creative Director

Nalyne is a modern day Renaissance women, who is multi talented and classically educated. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from San José State University in painting. She was 1 of 3 candidates selected for the graduate program in the pictorial category from a pool of over 500 applicants. She received a Bachelor of Arts from U.C. Berkeley in Political Economy of Industrial Societies (P.E.I.S.), with a minor in Business Administration. While an undergrad at Cal, she also studied painting, color theory, drawing and art history. The department has an illustrious reputation for breeding many famous artists and professors such as Richard Diebenkorn, Jay Defeo, Deborah Oropallo, Hans Hoffman and Joan Brown.

M.F.A. in Painting , San Jose State University
B.A. , U.C. Berkeley

Major in Political Economy, Minor in Business Administration

Exhibitions:

  • Innovate Pleasanton, Pleasanton, CA, Oct. 2014 – Jan. 2015
  • Atelier Aveda, Santana Row, San José, CA, October 2007 – December 2008
  • San Jose State University, San Jose, CA – May 2007
  • Rainy River Community College, International Falls, MI – March 2007

Guest Speaker

  • San Jose State University Health center, scholarship winner, San Jose, CA – May 2006 – May 2007
  • San Jose State University, San Jose, CA – January to February 2005, 2006, 2007
  • Bucci’s, Emeryville, CA – July 2004
  • Bisco’s, Emeryville, CA – August – November 2003
  • Art in Embassies Program presented by the U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C., United States Embassy: Rangoon, Burma, 2016 – 2019
  • Exhibition and Colloquium for DVAN (Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network), Sweeney Art Gallery in Riverside, Ca. June – October 2012
  • Art in Embassies Program presented by the U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C., United States Embassy: Chisinau, Moldova, 2012 – 2014, group show with Robert Motherwell
  • Art in Embassies Program presented by the U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C., United States Embassy: Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2012 – 2014
  • Somarts, Blue Planet in conjunction with conference on ecology, North West Woman’s Caucus for the Arts, San Francisco, CA, June 2010
  • Art in U.S. Embassies, Burma, 2009
  • San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Lift Off, San Jose, CA June – July 2007
  • Encantada Gallery, Sense and Sensuality, San Francisco, CA February 2007
  • Marx Saunders Gallery, Golden Opportunity, Chicago, Illinois, May 2006
  • 4th Street Studios : Emerging Masters, Berkeley, CA – January 2005
  • Pro Arts exhibition & Open Studios, Berkeley, CA – May 2003
  • Worth Ryder Gallery, U.C. Berkeley, CA – July 2002
  • Arcadia Community Center, Arcadia, CA – 1990, 1991
  • Pacific Asian Museum, Pasadena, CA – 1988, 1989
  • Children’s Museum of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA – 1988
  • Beyond Brush Art Studio, Owner and instructor, El Cerrito, CA, 2004 – present
  • DPIE (Dublin Partners in Education) , donated art classes to grades 8th – 1st, approx. 240 students total, February 2010
  • The Art of Teaching Art, series of 6 workshops for Pleasanton Unified School District teachers 2008
  • Firehouse Summer Fling fundraiser, art instructor at painting workshop to an audience of 200+ , taught the process of paint making, Pleasanton, CA , August 2008
  • Montalvo Arts, Starry Starry Night Art Camp, art instructor at painting workshop to an audience of 200, taught the process of paint making, Saratoga, CA , August 2007 & 2008
  • Kepler Learning Center, art instructor, July 2007 – July 2008
  • Montalvo Arts, Whirls Exhibition, assistant artist to Chris Drury (land artist), Saratoga CA, March to April 2005
  • San Jose State University, assistant instructor for drawing foundations class, August – December 2005
  • Grant Cuesta Nursing & Rehabilitation, Mountain View, CA, Art Instructor – August 2004 to 2006
  • Chad Okamoto Art Scholarship, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA – 2006
  • Asian Pacific American Heritage Week Poster Contest, 1st Place, 1989, 2nd Place 1988

My work is part of the Art in U.S. Embassies Program across the world:

  • Rangoon, Burma, 2016 – 2019
  • Moldova, 2012 – 2014
  • Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2012 – 2014
  • Rangoon, Burma, 2009 – 2012

I received the letter below from the U.S. Ambassador in Bangladesh for the paintings exhibited in 2012 – 2014.

In addition, I did receive a letter (below) from the Chargé D’Affaire(1) from Burma for the exhibition in 2009-2011.

My artwork has been selected for the catalog’s cover for the Art in U.S Embassies in Chisinau (Moldova). You can download and view the PDF version.

You can find my artwork in the catalog for the Art in U.S Embassies in Burma:

You can learn more about the Art in US Embassies program at <https://art.state.gov>. This program is over 50 years old and was formalized in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy at the U.S Department of State <https://art.state.gov/aie-history>.

(1) From wikipedia article: Chargés d’affaires (ministres chargés d’affaires) …  are heads of permanent missions accredited to countries to which, for some reason, it is not possible or not desirable to send agents of a higher rank (although the countries maintain diplomatic relations).