Marina Cruz was born in 1982 in Hagonoy, Bulacan Province, the Philippines. She graduated with honors (cum laude) from the University of the Philippines College of Fine Arts in 2003. In 2008, she received the Ateneo Art Awards in the Philippines for her work "Embroidered Landscape of My Mother's life: A Biography," and was granted a research visit to the Visual Arts Center at La Trobe University in Australia, which brought her into the international spotlight. In the same year, she also received the Grand Prize in the Philippines Art Awards and the Morris Awards. In 2012, Marina Cruz was honored with the prestigious Thirteen Artist Award. Her works have been exhibited in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Italy, Germany, and France. In 2021, the solo exhibition "Tide Table", curated by Patrick Flores, was held at the Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts in Taiwan. Her artworks are held in collections at institutions including the Taoyuan Museum of Fine Art, Antho-Life Art Foundation, the Menarco Vertical Museum Art Collection and the Pinto Art Museum.


Cruz often exhibits multi-layered meanings within a single painting surface. She tends to recreate part the “self” via a variety of materials embedded with memories and historical significance. The precision behind her presentation, the variety in her mediums and imagery, the privacy of her family stories and memories in her subjects have all cocooned Marina Cruz and obscured her vision. Despite her conscious decision to paint antiques and focusing on the past, Cruz’s works are unquestionably contemporary because they are about the core of her subjects and the clashes of real events behind the scene. The palpable yet shapeless emotions are rooted in the old photos and clothes that’s been passed down through the generations, which have in turn become her inspiration. By reinterpreting the meaning of the clothes once worn by her mother and aunts, the artist manages to process the relation between history and the people living through it, and the clothes serve as the medium through which she explores the continuation of life. Her painting process is like a person’s memory. Though slightly faded, it still inches closer to reality through indescribable wording.