Natural Narratives: Mia Go for Tubô Cebu Art Fair

Cebu-based artist Mia Go believes in transforming raw materials into creative pieces to tell stories and inspire conversations

Interview Gabrielle de la Cruz
Images Mia Go and Tubô Cebu Art Fair

Editor’s Note: This interview with Cebu-based artist Mia Go was made possible by Tubô Cebu Art Fair 2023. Go is among the fair’s featured artists and is currently a full-time artist who specializes in fibers and natural pigments.

Hello, Mia! Please introduce yourself. What do you do when you’re not busy making art? What are your hobbies?

Hello Kanto! I am a full-time mother of 2 children, a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old. Most of my days are spent learning the art of parenting and doing mundane things. If a sudden interest in something surfaces, my children and I do them together. For the past year, these interests have been gardening, worm farming, composting, baking, and processing pigments out of plants and soil. I would say that shifting hobbies is my true “hobby” as I love learning new skills. Oh, I also spend plenty of time reading lots of books!

Mia Go: I am a BFA Cinema graduate. I believe in utilizing stories to connect with other
people and to inspire conversations.

Wow, you seem to keep yourself quite busy! Prior to becoming a full-time artist, you also worked as a graphic designer, advertising associate, and freelance filmmaker. Did this affect your art style in any way? What lessons from these roles are you able to apply when creating new pieces?

I am not sure if I could say the same for my art style, but these roles influenced my creative process a lot. I’m very drawn to textures and layers. I get carried away and think very deeply about them in the same way I would craft a story for filming.

Having experience in different fields also shaped the way I look at life, and I guess as an extension, the stories I share through my pieces.

Clouds, a painting by Mia Go

As a BFA Cinema graduate, you believe in “utilizing stories to connect with other people and inspire conversations.” What kind of stories do you wish to tell through your art? What themes and issues do you aim to discuss through your works?

Stories are ever-changing. As I grow and evolve, there will probably be more and new ones that I would want to share.

At present, the themes I resonate with the most are stories around motherhood, sustainability, self-healing, and the correlation between these three.

You currently specialize in using fiber and natural pigments. What about these mediums captivates you? Can you tell us how you discovered how to use them and how you harnessed your skills in doing so? Do you plan to dabble in similar or other mediums in the future?

What captivates me about a material like fiber and any natural pigment is the rawness of it, and being able to create something meaningful out of it. The softness, roughness, imperfections, and malleability of natural materials feel human to me. I can say that I have found a sense of connection to the materials I use.

When my eldest was less than a year old, the pandemic happened and we were all spending our days at home. I wanted to look for something else to do besides childrearing and chores. Still, I wanted it to seem intentional and well thought out.

An idea to integrate objects of culture in our home as a way to spark interest in learning about Filipino heritage and artistry then arrived. Weaving presented itself spontaneously through an online article I read and I decided to pursue and learn it.

I definitely plan to dabble in other mediums. I’m very keen on exploring clay and other natural materials I can process. One of my artistic goals is to lessen the gap between raw materials and end products.

Passage of Time” and “A Faint Memory” by Mia Go

You were born in Davao and you currently reside in Cebu. What does the Tubô Cebu Art Fair mean to you? What do you think is the importance of events such as this in your region and in the entire Philippine art scene?

Connection and community. As social beings, I think we are always in search of a community we feel most connected with. Borrowing a line I resonate with from the book The Creative Act: “We tend to think of the artist’s work as the output. The real work of the artist is a way of being in the world.”

I truly believe our works are simply an extension of ourselves. With events such as Tubo, we are able to transmute our inner world—experiences, thoughts, emotions, and ultimately, our interconnectedness—into something more tangible. We create an opportunity for people to connect around the stories that feel most important to us. •

The best of Visayan creativity awaits at Tubô Cebu Art Fair at the Ayala Center Cebu, from September 15-17. is a proud media partner of the Tubô Cebu Art Fair 2023.

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