Published May 06, 2021
Inspiration, that divine breath of creativity upon one’s imagination, can come from anywhere and at any moment. But for Filipina contemporary artist Ayka Go, the search for the bedrock from which things called paintings and art emerge is more deliberate. This has involved a continuous engagement with the material of paper and a myriad of potential forms from sheets, tears, and folds. It involves the reacquaintance with and reinterpretation of memories, for instance, the long forgotten habits and worlds inscribed in childhood diaries. Or it can be a strategy of recreating the delicate beauty of paper creases and origami into dream-like trompe l'oeil.
In one series of works called Ephemeral Landscapes, Go taps into memories of passing landscapes seen from a train window to create collages of torn paper. As is mostly the case with her collages, they transform into more immediate and tactile bodies using the material of paint and the scale of life-sized paintings. It’s an interesting contrast to their source, the weightlessness of passing landscapes as noted by art writer JC Rosette. This weightlessness, however, eventually co-exists in paintings with the illusion of paper and the permanent and weighty resplendence of color.
Go’s transformations of studies, collages, and paper often involve multiple processes, evident in a recent show titled, “Play, Cut, Stick, Paint.” It does not reveal, however, how Go and other artists will adopt new processes to reinvigorate their own imaginations and output, in this case, the randomness and word association from Surrealism and Dada. Whether childhood diaries, paper maquettes, and avant garde word play, Ayka Go continues to wring surprises out of an obsession with the malleable form of paper.
Ayka Go is a rising Filipino contemporary artist who has already had more than a few solo shows in the choice galleries of Manila.