Paul 'Pao' Hafalla, known as IJWBAA, was born in Manila, Philippines. He currently resides in Pangasinan, Philippines, and excels in various art forms like digital art, painting, sculpture, drawing, and writing. IJWBAA is acclaimed for his unique style, focusing on elongated, simplified figures, particularly in digital art.
Inspired by Rothko's minimalist abstractions and influenced by Giacometti and Venus de Milo, IJWBAA ventures beyond conventional visual art, skillfully blending simplicity with profound depth in representational figures. His art explores the intricate layers of personal identity, fusing influences from Rothko's minimalism, the armless grace of Venus de Milo, and Giacometti's elongated forms. Through his unique creations, he invites viewers to ponder the profound aspects of the human experience.
He had two remarkable achievements: a captivating 3x4 feet acrylic canvas painting titled 'The Builders' swiftly acquired by esteemed art collectors in the Philippines, showcasing his talent in expressing the human form with deep meaning. Alongside this, he published "I Just Wannabe An Artist" Book 1, documenting his artistic journey from August to December 2022. This marks the beginning of a series of yearly books that will showcase his evolving artistic path. 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 impact on the art world hasn't gone unnoticed. His art has graced prestigious global venues, headlining solo exhibitions like "Breaking Boundaries" and "Made to Order" in VR format at OncyberIO. He's participated in group shows such as "Fight for Kindness 2023" in Firenze, Italy, and his pieces have adorned galleries in New York and London. He's been showcased on platforms like ArtFacts, Art World Database, Agimat “Sining at Kulturang Pinoy”, and Creative Manila. His artistry has found its way into renowned publications like “Print It 2024” in Leeds United Kingdom, "Goddessarts Magazine" in Germany, "The Arches Project Org" in Birmingham, United Kingdom, and “365 Art + Magazine” in Tokyo, Japan. Additionally, he's been interviewed by “Al-Tiba9 Contemporary Art” in Barcelona, Spain and “Insights of an Eco Artist” in Portugal.
IJWBAA's artistic journey soared to new heights when he became a finalist in the ArtsFighters competition in Milan, Italy, in December 2022. Earlier that November, he achieved 2nd Place in the unofficial World Children's Day event in Paris, France. On Feb 14, 2024, he made his mark when the National Library of the Philippines acquired copies of his books to be added to their collection. His multifaceted talents continue to captivate and inspire art enthusiasts worldwide. With a diverse and extensive body of work, IJWBAA stands as a renowned international artist.