Who is Cat?
My name is Cat Xia (they/them) and I’m an artist in Sacramento, CA who likes to create sad, angry, and cute art. My illustrative narratives trend towards my experiences with climate change, racism, sexism, religion, spirituality, and class warfare. The mediums I work in are mostly digital and traditional painting and drawing.
Much of my cute imagery is inspired by constant sadness, frustration, and anger. Most of my work speaks to my experience as a Canadian Chinese American woman living in America. I’m Chinese, but I’m not Chinese. I’m American, but I’m not White. I’m Canadian, but I’m not sorry (lmao).
It’s nice if you have the privilege to keep politics out of your life, but I don’t have that. My right to make private health decisions for my own body is under constant threat. My right to breathe clean air and drink water unspoiled by corporate pollution is under constant threat. Even “constant threat” is an optimistic phrase, as I know many communities (not just human) have already been devastated.
When I am not bitterly laughing into the void, I am creating art, making silly videos, spending time with my two adopted birds, and trying not to lose more of my mind about the state of the world.
Who is Hellxia?
My art name, Hellxia, pronounced “hell shaw!” dates back to college. I was a resident advisor at the dorms and one of my residents was this swell fella who was really into psychobilly. He said something like, “Cat Xia? Hellxia!” And it just stuck with me.
What is Sad.Angry.Cute.?
Simply put, I’m trying to rebrand. Also it reminds me of where I reside… in SACramento!
2013 Don’t Touch My Private, R.W. Witt Gallery, Sacramento, CA
2012 Lower Polk Art Walk, Art Alley, San Francisco, CA
2019 Uniibrow Collective: Sacramento Zine Fest, Verge Center for the Arts, Sacramento, CA
2018 TheAznRoom @ Sac Open Studios, Verge Center for the Arts, Sacramento, CA
2014 Race IS Relevant: Visual Art Reflections, Redwood Room at Sac State, Sacramento, CA (one-day exhibit via Sac State Pride Center)
2013 Migration Immigration, Sacramento State Multi-Cultural Center, Sacramento, CA
2013 Hands: Art Can Make the World Better, Fusion International Arts Center, Sacramento, CA
2013 The Sucker Punks’ Traveling Sideshow, The Colony, Sacramento, CA
2012 Rogue Pizza Art Show, Kadema Hall bulletin boards, Sacramento, CA (curated)
2012 Capital Artists’ Studio Tour, Center for Contemporary Art, Sacramento, CA
2012 Generalizasian: Stuck in Racist and Feminist Art, R.W. Witt Gallery, Sacramento, CA (co-curated)
2011 Small Works: Student Exhibition & Art Sale, Else Gallery, Sacramento, CA
2013 Anamnesis, Davis Feminist Film Festival, Davis, CA | watch Anamnesis
2013 Anamnesis, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA
2012-2013 Wine Barrels, Saffo Art Ranch, Fiddletown, CA
2012 Hearts & Farts: A Body Positive Zine, vol. 1, 2012
AnSimone: “Cat Hellxia: ‘pronounced Hell Shaw!’,” Tube Magazine, June 2014
Edwards, Bobby: “Generalizasian: Stuck in Racist and Feminist Art by Cat Hellxia * Megan O * Trina,” ARTNEWS: Newsletter of the Sac State Art Department, vol. 3, Spring 2012, p. 8
Riturban, Jordan: “Podcast: Interview with artist Cat Hellxia,” The State Hornet, March 2012
Martinez-Campos, Diana: “Within and Beyond MCC Walls,” Multi-Cultural Center Quarterly (Sacramento State), vol. 4, Spring 2012, p. 5
2022 Leverage Your Art, Art Licensing Course, Stacie Bloomfield, Online
2012 BA, Studio Art, California State University – Sacramento (Minor: Business Administration)
Random thoughts that paralyze me
- We need to fight for an equitable society AND a livable planet.
- The nation-state model and constant push for “progress” and new technology are damaging to our future as a species.
- America is an oligarchy where the top 1% are taking away our access to health care, maximizing the cost of living while minimizing wages, polluting our water, creating false scarcity, creating a perpetual system of slave labor by taking away reproductive rights and critical-thought-based education… I have no answers, but the only responses we have now are fight, flight, or maintain systems of slavery in this class war until the planet is unlivable.
- If you say the wrong gender pronoun, just quickly correct and move on instead of making a big fuss about apologizing and reinforcing a negative emotion around learning new gender pronouns.