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Aze Ong

Transcendence

“Fiber is my weapon,” remarks Aze Ong, one of the foremost artists delving into, expanding, and re-interpreting the traditions and

About the Artist

“Fiber is my weapon,” remarks Aze Ong, one of the foremost artists delving into, expanding, and re-interpreting the traditions and techniques of craft. Her mode of creation is crocheting, which is inflected with the usual feminine associations but, in the hands of the artist, transforms into a malleable vehicle through which solitude, self-regeneration, spirituality may be conducted. Through the meditative and pared-down process of opening and closing a succession of loops, the artist is able to create stand-alone and wall-bound soft sculptures, wearable art pieces, and stupendous installations and environments that become the second skin of space. 

For her work, Transcendence, Ong responds to the pandemic times through the labor of the body and the contemplation of the soul, starting with the archetypal shape of the circle, which then ramifies into webs, vortices, atomic and cosmic patterns. On occasions, the threads compress to become dense repetitions of quasi-botanical forms.  Conceptually, they evoke the rhythm of breathing, the ebb and flow of matter and energy, the alternating swing between presence and absence.

One of Ong’s biggest works to date, Transcendence is charged by a highly generative and intuitive process, which the artist learned from her observations of the weavers of the Talaandig indigenous group in Bukidnon. While her work is contemporary for its resistance against decoration, Ong aligns herself with the generations of women silently working by their looms, symbolized by the mythological figure Penelope, who weaves and unweaves a tapestry for 20 years as she waits for her beloved Ulysses’ homecoming.

In the case of the artist, whose performative aspect of her work allowed her to inhabit the role of a “queen,” what she contends with is loss, both personal and collective. She views her work as a way to negotiate the physical and the spiritual worlds, the crocheting process a necessary incantation permitting the transference of energies between the two. Draped, hanging, and undulating in space, Transcendence symbolizes the web-relations of all things, that whatever we may have lost is but transformed and vivid elsewhere.

 

Words by Carlomar Daoana


Artworks

Aze Ong


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