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DIKO

Gabriel Joseph Tiongson

Born in Iloilo City, Philippines in 1985, I practically drew everywhere. The earliest characters I remember drawing were Rambo in pre-elementary school. It became a wonderful habit of escaping the routine which I call “class”. And this habit is present until this day and I believe until the end of my days.

I wanted to take up fine arts after high school, but certain circumstances prohibited me from pursuing that road. So, I ended up finishing and becoming a physical therapist. Around 2009, my friends and I decided to design and produce shirts as a small business project. I was designated in drawing up the designs, since I was into illustrating. I ended up collecting all my thoughts and recording them on paper for preservation. We ended up joining bazaars in Araneta Center, Cubao and SM Megamall. Late 2010, my friend mentions that Vinyl on Vinyl gallery in Makati shares the same aesthetics with me and my art. Early 2011, I decided to visit Vinyl on Vinyl gallery located at The Collective 7274, Malugay Street. I met the curator and showed him my ink on paper works and it caught his interest. He later introduced me to the gallery owners and I showed them my works too. After a while, they asked me if I wanted to do a show and it was booked. “Neurana”, my first solo show, opened on August 26, 2011. That moment sparked my start in the art industry and since then I’ve been immersing myself in the culture.

I was fortunate enough to showcase my works in several galleries across Metro Manila, Korea and Singapore. I also have been accustomed to doing live art events in clubs and other venues. It is a great way to experience art, music, and society all under one roof. Getting to meet and work with international artists is one of the best experiences in my art career. I have collaborated with the likes of Aaron Woes Martin (USA), Arkiv Vilmansa (Indonesia), Wanton Doodle (Singapore) and many more artists from around the globe. My style perfectly fits into pop surrealism. It usually plays around pop icons and is very playful, sarcastic, vibrant and dark at times. This movement originated in the United States around the 1970s. The whole culture includes toys, apparel, stickers and other underground influences.

I pride myself in my line work. Everything I do on paper is done free hand. I love using dawing and painting to emote my characters. I take care of my lines as much as possible to make them flow organically and naturally. My creative output is a manifestation of my awesome childhood and the world around me. I owe everything I am doing and enjoying now to the love and support of my family, friends and the constant good and bad experiences in life.

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