Uncovering the Mystery of Art
Uncovering the Mystery of Art | Foto: Uncovering the Mystery of Art

Uncovering the Mystery of Art

Por: Diego Cerón

9, November, 2022 en Business Concept

Uncovering the Mystery of Art by Geraldine Zialcita

RA Tijing’s paintings awaken your senses, uncovers your curiosity, and transcend you into another realm where dreams and magic do exist.

RA was born and raised in Silay, Negros Occidental, Philippines. Foreshadowing his future, at seven years old, RA picked up a paintbrush and immersed himself in the art world. As a self-taught artist and toy designer who has been painting professionally for thirteen years now, RA draws inspiration from what he sees on TV, social media, social commentaries, his daily experiences, and whatever tickles his mind.

RA completed his Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering & Inter Disciplinary Studies at the University of St. La Salle Bacolod City. After graduating from college in 2004, RA migrated to Schönenwerd, Switzerland to be with his parents. “While I was in Switzerland, I visited the galleries and museums which truly opened my eyes, ignited my passion, and enabled me to pursue my craft. After working for five days at a winery in Bern, I decided to quit my job and delve into my art career,” he shares.

Uncovering the Mystery of Art
Uncovering the Mystery of Art

RA returned to the Philippines to concentrate full-time on his art career. In 2009, after a failed relationship and with his art not heading in the direction he desired, RA contemplated moving back to Switzerland. However, the universe had other plans for him. “I got invited to auction my work at the 1st Manila Art show in Phinma Gallery. This event led me to a serendipitous meeting with renowned artist Charlie Co who spearheaded Orange Project Gallery. Charlie invited me to have a show at his gallery which propelled me to spread my wings and be a full-time artist,” he informs.

RA credits Van Gogh, Mark Chagall, Mark Ryden, Yoshitomo Nara, Brian Donnelly aka. Kaws as his greatest influencers who have shaped his career. “Sir Charlie Co who has played a significant role in my life and for mentoring me in my career,” he states.

RA was a semi-finalist in the 2010 Metrobank Art. & Design Excellence (MADE) Awards and has been nominated three times for the CCP 13 artists awards. In 2015, RA was chosen for the Gwangju Korea Art Residency and participated in Gwangju Art Exhibition. His artworks are displayed at the Pinto Art Museum, Ayala Museum, and BenCab Museum. RA has held solo exhibits at the Orange Project Gallery, SecretFresh Gallery, Altromondo Gallery, Canvas Art Garden, Art 4 Space Gallery, Nova Gallery, and Negros Museum. He has participated in international group shows in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Singapore, Italy, and Switzerland.

Uncovering the Mystery of Art
Uncovering the Mystery of Art

RA blends colors and strokes to produce Contemporary, Pop-Surreal, and Social Realism art pieces. “I create my own characters and allow the story to unfold naturally. I usually write down my ideas and concept first, then directly sketch the main subject on the canvas. Shortly after, I add supporting characters and symbols to balance the overall look of the painting and I only stop when I’m happy with the outcome,” he describes.

Since painting involves an emotional journey and experience, RA can navigate through a mixture of joy, frustrations, angst, serenity, and jubilation after completing his work. He can complete three to five paintings of 2×2 ft to 4×4 ft in a month. “Aside from painting, the best part of my career is I control my own time and I’m my own boss. Doing what you love and having flexibility with time is truly rewarding,” he conveys.

Traveling around the world has infused RA’s creativity and influenced his vision in defining how art resonates with him. Being internationally recognized in the industry for his craft has opened more doors for RA who continues to push the envelope. “After all these years, I look back to see how it all started. An artist’s life contains huge risks. You’re investing time and money without expecting any returns. It could take years until you sell just one painting and the rejections can be painful. Your will is often tested and the struggles are real, but you have to keep going because this is what you truly dreamed of,” he discloses.

RA paints during the weekdays, and the weekend is when he spends time with his friends and family going to the beach or mountain. He also enjoys playing football and basketball with his friends. RA recently bought a piece of land up in the mountains in his hometown in Silay and hopes to build his own studio where he could paint, a gallery where he could showcase other artists, and a farm where he could grow his own vegetables and be surrounded by animals.

Uncovering the Mystery of Art
Uncovering the Mystery of Art

RA will be showcasing his work in the upcoming group exhibitions:

Fortune Hills, San Juan, under Greyspace Gallery,
White Walls Gallery – October 5 opening
Canvas Banner project @ Bencab Museum and Vargas Museum UP – End of October
Art Fair Cebu – November
Pinto Art Museum – November
J Studio Gallery – November
Alliance Francaise – December

RA manages and partly owns artist-run Grey Room Art Space (Art District Bacolod City) which is an art space committed to supporting local talent in Bacolod and surrounding cities in Negros Occidental. As he continues to evolve in his career, he will always acknowledge that art is a never-ending journey with more to grasp. “The more I learn, the less I know. Learning enhances growth and I’m grateful to be where I am right now and excited to see where I’m going,” he concludes.

A blank canvas, an array of palettes, and a collection of paintbrushes enable RA Tijing to express his ideas, inject his emotions, and open up his sense of wonder to uncover the mystery of art.