b. 1978, Manila, Philippines
Lives and works in Pangasinan, Philippines

Paul ‘Pao’ Hafalla, known by the name IJWBAA, is a multidisciplinary artist with work spanning digital art, painting, sculpture, drawing, and writing. He is renowned for his distinctive artistic exploration, which primarily revolves around elongated, simplified figures in the digital medium. Drawing inspiration from Rothko’s minimalistic abstractions and influenced by Giacometti and Venus de Milo, he transcends traditional visual representation, delving into the intricate dimensions of individual identity, inviting viewers to contemplate the profound depths of the human condition.

IJWBAA’s art centers on representational figures, creating a striking juxtaposition between simplicity and profound depth. His work is characterized by a unique fusion of influences. He achieved two notable feats: creating a 3×4 feet acrylic canvas painting of ‘The Builders,’ which was acquired by a Filipino collector, demonstrating his skill in capturing the human form with profound meaning; and publishing “I Just Wanna Be An Artist” Book 1, documenting his artistic journey from August to December 2022. This marks the start of a series of annual books showcasing his evolving artistic path.

IJWBAA’s works have been exhibited in prestigious venues worldwide, including solo exhibits such as “Breaking Boundaries” and “Made to Order” in VR format at OncyberIO. He has also been a part of group exhibitions, including the Adelaide Festival 2024 in Australia and “Fight for Kindness 2023” in Firenze, Italy. His artwork has also graced the walls of galleries in New York and London. Notable collectors of his work include Hugh Stiel, Dr. Gerard “Toto” Salgado, Alan C. Fleming, Joshua Benson, Nikki Yanong, Gilbert Simpao, Juanton Robes, and Marty lan Gideon Flores.

IJWBAA’s was a finalist in the ArtsFighters competition in Milan, Italy, in December 2022, and achieved second Place in the unofficial World Children’s Day event in Paris, France, in November 2022. His works have been featured in numerous publications, including “Goddessarts Magazine” in Germany, “The Arches Project Org” in Birmingham, United Kingdom, “365 Art + Magazine” in Tokyo, Japan, “Al-Tiba9 Contemporary Art” interview in Barcelona, Spain.


Country: Philippines
Social Media: @ijwbaa