Juan Chawuk

Mayan/Tojolabal artist

Las Margaritas, Chiapas, México, 1971.

Multidisciplinary artist, whose media include painting, photography, sculpture and performance. To look at a painting by Chawuk is to immerse oneself in a dream world, where the otherness of the metaphysical space coexists with what is characteristically one’s own, that is, the Tojolabal tradition.

Chawuk approaches the Mayan reality without describing with realistic images the aspects of its daily life, traditions or symbology. Far from that, his hand acts as a vehicle for a cathartic experience in the viewer, that of encountering the life of indigenous peoples in a dreamlike arcadia, in a kind of ethereal and magical terrain that welcomes the undisturbed existence of this community and its inheritance.

The universe of Chawuk is a universe of interactions. This shows the scope of projects developed by the artist such as Innocences and identities (2016). Born in the workshop of Chawuk and materialized as an exhibition at the Galería MUY, this project developed collectively by “Hombres Rayo” is based on the artists’ own talks and life experiences; to channel through art the interrelationships between the original and the contemporary.

In the exhibition Dialogues in colors (2019), Chawuk explores together with Darwin Cruz the possibilities of a reflective universe where a conversation is established between the infinite and the finite, the past, the present and the future and our place in the world. Cruz’s creative force stands out for his ability to create questions whose answers must be reached by the viewer, challenged by the succession of images demanding another possible reality. As the artist himself invokes, “how to feel the universe from a deep breath? How to stop those who have scrutinized our lives and established positions so foreign to ours?”


  • Mayan and Zoque interpretations of the (In)visible pandemic, virtual exhibitionGalería MUY, 2020.
  • Spoxil Ch’ulelal (Medicine of the soul), group exhibition, Centro médico siglo XXI, Ciudad de México, 2019.
  • Dialogue in colors, exhibition with Darwin Cruz, Galería MUY, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, 2019.
  • Jna’tik Jnatik (We miss our house), group exhibition, Corpus Christi, Ciudad de México, 2017.
  • Science and spirituality in Mayan visual arts, group exhibition Galería MUY, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, 2017.
  • Innocences and identities, Works from the Hombres Rayo Collective, Galería MUY, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, 2016.
  • Guadalupe Center, mural in Kansas City, USA, 2014.
  • Juan Chawuk, Mattie Rhodes Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri, USA, 2012.
  • Transformations, Prospectus Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 2009.
  • Transformations, Rutgers University Center for Latino Arts & Culture, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 2009.
  • A universal being, Universidad de Ciencias y Artes de Chiapas, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, 2008.
  • Energy and matter, Museo de Culturas Populares de Chiapas, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, 2007.
  • Character syncretism, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, 2005.
  • Through my eyes, Museo Dr. Belisario Domínguez, Comitán, Chiapas, 1998.


Artworks available on Tienda MUY

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Artworks from Juan Chawuk's catalogue