Born Sydney 1974, lives and works in Sydney.
Damian Showyin’s paintings are like abstracted windows. Oblong shapes of deep, layered colours seem to hold whispered secrets.
On acquiring a Damian Showyin original for his personal collection, head curator of International Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales Justin Paton, took to Instagram to air his praise:
“Showyin is a wonderful builder in colour, constructing his intensely satisfying paintings from softly brushed blocks, stacks and windows”. The work’s dense grid logic (which is Showyin’s unmistakable hallmark) compelled Paton to ponder “how things in any setting — a city, landscape or community — must accommodate each other to get along”.
With acrylic, oil pastel, chalk pastel and posca, mostly on paper, Damian has developed his own personal language; one of patterns and braided shapes. He delights in the teeming and tight harmony of the buildings, fences and gardens he inhabits and is surrounded by.
Perhaps this is why his art resonates so well when installed in public, in places of ‘getting along’. Damian was one of seven Studio A maestros commissioned by the University of Technology Sydney to complete a major mural in their Central food court. Bird Life Jungle Disco stretches 175sqm, the largest artwork in the institution’s collection. So well received was the project that in 2020 UTS mounted a ‘Bird’s-Eye-View’, accessioning a Damian piece in the process.
Damian is also known for figurative illustrations drawn with a looser hand. His ‘Helo Sunshine’ was one of two designs selected to emblazon a limited edition tea towel line for Studio A. The design was also promoted by Margaret O’ Brien’s (CEO of Young Change Agents) as part of her ‘Power of 3’ campaign raising funds for social enterprises.
When not painting, Damian works laboriously on the loom – weaving compelling textile wall pieces, sculptures and cushions.
“I loved showing my paintings [At the Underbelly Arts Festival 2015]” says Damian. People said that my paintings look nice and that I’m a good painter. That made me feel good.”
-Words by Will Kollmorgen, Studio A volunteer.