Gabriel Tiongson’s origins as a visual artist started innocently enough. Born in the 80s in Iloilo City, Philippines, his creative brain marinated on a mishmash diet of 80s and 90s American cartoons, toys, comic books, video games, and Japanese pop culture. Drawing from these creative wells, Tiongson was led to draw, doodle, and illustrate images reminiscent of iconic pop cartoon figures.
Overtime, his illustrations have come to resemble cartoon figures shot through the shattered lens of a funhouse mirror. He marries elements of innocence, childhood, and the grotesque. Initially creating his free-hand illustrations in black and white, his aesthetics has grown to include the use of fluorescent technicolor, slapstick, off-kilter character proportions, and distorted references to human anatomy.
The dramatic evolution of his creative practice could be tracked back to August 2011 when he was invited to do his first solo show in Makati City, Philippines. This eventually set off a series of participation in art shows in the Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, and California. Apart from free-hand illustrations, Tiongson paints, sculpts, customizes, and creates action figures.
Gabriel Joseph Tiongson completed his Visual Arts degree in New Zealand and continues to develop his art practice. While his work has been described in various ways, it is above all, a childlike sense of play, imagination, and wonder that informs his work.