Rebekah Boshan Guo

Fashion Designer and Textile Artist Rebekah Boshan Guo merges material development, print design and up-cycling to develop new biodegradable materials and highlight sustainable solutions within the world of design.

Elizabeth Richardson |  Ed. Peter Traynor  |  22 December 2021

Woman Digital Artist: Rebekah Boshan Guo - The Sublime - Agora Digital Art

Rebekah Boshan Guo (b. 1996, China)  is a Textile Design Artist and Fashion Designer based in London, specialising in print design, textile manipulation and sustainable material development. She received an MA in Textile Design with Distinction from Chelsea College of Arts in 2021, following the completion of her undergraduate degree in Fashion Design Print at Central Saint Martins in 2020. During her degrees Guo collaborated with brands such as Versus Versace, Balenciaga and 20th Century Fox Studios. Sustainable and socially responsible design is at the core of her practice, and she is now undertaking an Art Therapy Foundation at Goldsmiths in order to apply a deeper understanding of art’s therapeutic benefits to her work. 

Current Event

Nov 2021 – 31 Mar 2022: Being in a sandstorm, The Sublime 3.0: Fear and Awe, Agora Digital Art x thewrong biennale 5.

Rebekah Boshan Guo, Being in a Sandstorm (2021) © Courtesy of the artist.

What’s next?

Rebekah Boshan Guo, Bioplastic textile samples for Being in a Sandstorm (2021). © Rebekah Guo, Courtesy of the Artist.

Guo’s practice carefully considers the negative impact of the clothing and textile industry upon greenhouse gas production. Her most recent project, titled Bio-Plastic, aims to contextualise natural disasters and their effects through bio-materials. Guo is experimenting with natural materials such as wood, thread, pebbles, and sawdust to develop her own catalogue of agar bioplastic. The aim of this ongoing project is to highlight the possibility of sustainable practices within the world of design, and Guo intends to continue developing her practice in this way.

Did you know?

In 2020, Guo launched her own fashion accessory brand, REBEKAH GUO. The designer’s latest collection features handbags made from up-cycled fashion waste from her previous limited fashion collections, making each item unique.

Featured Projects

Being in a Sandstorm (2020)

Rebekah Boshan Guo, Bioplastic textile samples for Being in a Sandstorm (2021). © Rebekah Guo, Courtesy of the Artist.

Being in a sandstorm simultaneously explores climate change and the possibility of using textiles to create an “environment connected to nature”. This immersive audio-visual installation is based on the narrative of Guo’s sublime experience of being in a sandstorm during her childhood. She describes this experience as one that has played a crucial role in her own philosophy and identity, raising questions for the artist such as “who am I?” and “where do I belong?”

While this natural disaster resulted in a damaged environment, Guo also remembers its profound beauty. In a series of “working progress” videos that document her artistic process throughout Being in a sandstorm, Guo retraces the sensations she experienced in the sandstorm: “I was in a magical world,” Guo recalls, “Everything covered with a delicate orange lace. And I can see the sparkles in the air. Until I hear the sand hit my window, and the wind roar like a hungry tiger. I barely can see anything”. This duality is explored within the installation; the project emerges as an emotive textile-based environment that evokes the simultaneous power and beauty of the natural disaster.

Through the interplay of lighting and bioplastic textiles, Being in a sandstorm casts silhouettes and patterns in a transcendental orange glow. For its textile production, Guo screen-printed with thermochromic ink on agar bioplastic, adding carrot essence to achieve the installation’s warm colour palette. A selection of the resulting biomaterial textiles were then cut into strands and woven together as a single lattice, emulating the orange lace-like blur from the sandstorm memory. In the final installation, the lattice is arced and suspended as a hollow revolving column, projecting scattered shadows as it spins in subdued light.

Rebekah Boshan Guo, Being in a sandstorm (2021). © Rebekah Guo, Courtesy of the Artist.
Rebekah Boshan Guo, Being in a sandstorm (2021). © Rebekah Guo, Courtesy of the Artist.
Rebekah Boshan Guo, REBEKAH GUO 2021 Collection (2021). © Rebekah Guo, Courtesy of the Artist.

From Waste to Value (2021)

The artist initiated From Waste to Value as a side project “in response to the pandemic and changing market”, repurposing fashion waste from her previous collections into exclusive designs. Guo explains that her six years of experience as a design practitioner has shaped this new direction in her practice, as she is continuously “shocked by the amount of waste” produced in a single collection. Upcycled designs from this ongoing side project include a series of handbags in the REBEKAH GUO 2021 collection, titled Peel Off.

Rebekah Boshan Guo, Graduation Collection, LOOK 5 (2020) © Rebekah Guo, Courtesy of the Artist.

Fresh Unpeeling (2020)

For her 2020 graduate project Guo presented Fresh Unpeeling, a collection inspired by the colours and textures of fruit flesh. Guo combined hand-painted prints on layered silk organza fabrics with faux fur and metallic Devore fabric to create six stunningly vibrant final looks. A range of the textiles developed during this limited collection have now been repurposed for the REBEKAH GUO 2021 collection.

Key achievements

Throughout her BA, Guo undertook collaborations with prominent brands including the Balenciaga Museum in Bilbao and Versus Versace. During both collaborations, her print designs explored the blurring of “the aesthetic gap between Eastern and Western cultures in fashion and jewellery designs”.

Rebekah Boshan Guo, Print design for Versus Versace project (2018). © Rebekah Guo, Courtesy of the Artist.

In 2018 Guo designed an outfit for contemporary artist and writer Grayson Perry as part of the annual Central Saint Martins end of year project in collaboration with Perry, entitled Make something gorgeous for Grayson Perry. Her garment was purchased by the artist, and later exhibited in the Frockaholic: Grads, Grayson and Gorgeous Dresses exhibition at McCann, London.

In a 2017 collaboration between 20th Century Fox Studios, Swarovski and Central Saint Martins, groups of Central Saint Martins BA Fashion students were invited to create a capsule fashion collection inspired by the themes of The Greatest Showman. Guo’s team were selected as the winning group, and their designs were exhibited at a showcase in Claridge’s ballroom in London.

Group shows

2021, Arthill Gallery Exhibition, Arthill Gallery, London, UK

2021, The Sublime 3.0: Fear and Awe, Agora Digital Art x thewrongbiennale5, VR exhibition

2021, Graduate Showcase, Chelsea College of Art, University of the Arts London, London, UK

2020, Graduate Showcase, Central Saint Martins, London, UK

2018, Frockaholic: Grads, Grayson and Gorgeous Dresses, McCann, London, UK

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