“I explored visualizing the words into images, abstractions and symbolisms. Like Cirilo’s magic, I’d like to stimulate the emotion and curiosity of the viewers, to raise questions, to ask reality and self. The main challenge for me was how to reduce and reproduce these multidimensional experiences visually, which led me to a series of different visual approaches.”
As It Will: Finding His Way, This Way Back to Self
It is the will and the power of the mind that prompt Wipo to create. The Manila-based artist views his artistic practice as a way of returning to one’s self. After giving up advertising in 2014, Jeff Baligad would often find himself traversing a mountain trail, figuring which path to take. Fast forward to 2019, the same guy, now known as Wipo, has exhibited
for his second solo show titled “This Way.” It has been until then that he realised he needs to do it his way, this way: through art.
Wipo navigates the borders that draw the line between forgetting and remembering moments, deconstructing and discovering ideas, awareness and spontaneity in his creative process. He communicates his anxieties and frustrations through the objects that surround him: it may be the tire he uses as a medium after being exposed to his father’s line
of work in a factory (Bahagharing Itim, 2018), or the cigarette butts he turns into a sculptural piece when he quit smoking (Cigarette Castle, 2019).
The instinctive brush strokes—the smudges, twirls, and palette combinations—are distinct styles that the artist embraces to yield a variety of emotional responses to his works.
His continuous search for technique and experimentation on various media are his contemplation on the uncertainties of our memory. In such mental practice, he allows himself
to realise alternate realities he expresses through words and symbols, all tinged with abstractions.
Playful, personal and yet logical, his works open up to its viewers to recollect their own broken pieces (in whatever form), while giving importance to his state of mind
which is his own concept of now.