Published November 11, 2021
Filipino contemporary artist Aiya Balingit’s work is a riot of pastel colors, nostalgic fantasies, busy girls in sailor fuku outfits, and mischievous smiles peeking at the viewer with wide-eyed innocence. But more than that, while Balingit captures the semantic of “charming” and “adorable”, her storied images journey into whimsy, folklore, and child-like escapes from reality at the same time serving a defiant stance against social pressures.
Balingit’s visual combinations of brilliantly executed quotidian adventures reflect her trust in the fundamental underpinnings of painting, giving her the freedom to depict anything she wants. This way, she democratizes surfaces of her canvas with a blunt yet lyrical approach. She masters the feel of a complete thought that engages the viewer’s curiosity. In her artistic endeavor, Balingit chronicles shared realities and the broader culture by synthesizing her visual material with hard-won ease. For instance, in one of her works, she tells a story about a woman in a communist uniform and how it represents women from different cultures who are deprived of their rights. As a matter of fact, there is that underlying theme in her work looking beyond the exuberant colors she uses. Whether it’s gender rights disparities or peer pressure, Balingit’s art is a gentle persuasion to look slowly and take courage.
Aiya Balingit is a Filipino contemporary artist who took up Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Advertising in Technological University of the Philippines. She has been participating in group exhibitions since 2009 in various notable galleries and museums such as Pinto Art Museum, Boston Gallery, Art Verité, Secret Fresh Gallery, Nunu Fine Art in Taipei among others. She is a member of The Working Animals Art Projects.