about the artist
Cairo Mo (he/they) is a painter and new media artist based in Berkeley, CA. They recently graduated Stanford University with a degree in Symbolic Systems and concentration in Natural Language. Their work has published in art journals and magazines, and exhibited locally as well as internationally in France.
As a trans masculine person, Cairo practices art-making as healing, ritual, and celebration. Cairo creates images that make visible the in-between. Their lived experience as a trans and non-binary person informs their work, which often concerns liminality and the tensions situated at the boundaries between two worlds.
Working in a combination of oil, gouache, and digital media, Cairo arranges colour to create nostalgic, dreamlike images. In their most recent series "slice of life," Cairo paints atmospheric, introspective scenes of their everyday life, and reifies joyful moments that are often missing from the mainstream queer and trans narrative.
As part of their work with Queer Ancestors Project, Cairo created 4 linocut prints exploring the complication between their queerness and Chinese American heritage. These prints range from reimagining Mulan as trans ("mulan"), to creating a ritual offering to the Chinese god of homosexuality ("tu'er shen"), to designing a queer version of their family seal. Cairo's work seeks to honour their queer ancestors and revitalise the lost queer history in Chinese folklore.