some things we call home • Ayka Go

Jun 11 to Jul 7, 2021 • Tall Gallery

The recreation of sensuous surface has long been the allure and conceit of painting. In some things we call home, Go continues her long-standing interest with paper and the interplay of the two-dimensional vis-a-vis space and mass. In these paintings, fragmented scraps– with their splattering of pattern and texture– bulge with volume and heft. Folds and tears signal depth and form. An unseen object serves as scaffolding, akin to bones and organs stretching out papery skin. The experiential hints at an interiority.

Inside these packages, Go makes use of toys, reminiscent of her own family and childhood, as references. But in a reversal of gift-giving celebrations where newly bought things emerge from shiny gift wrappers, here, the objects gathered are burdened with memory. Enclosed in seemingly brittle and aged paper, they evoke nostalgic longing. And occluded from view, we regard them in a strange light. In effect the artist is staging a re-encounter, as if from within the creases a toy can tumble out reborn. As if she can offer these old things anew.

Partly a response to the vicissitudes of current times, partly a remembering, her works signal towards the accretion of loss and the rituals of coping. And perhaps, it also gestures to a certain promise. That soon enough, through disparate shapes and ways, the weight of the past can also coalesce into forms of gratitude.

—JC Rosette