Paul 'Pao' Hafalla, known by the name IJWBAA, was born in Manila, Philippines. Currently, he is based in Pangasinan, Philippines. As a multidisciplinary artist, his work spans digital art, painting, sculpture, drawing, and writing. IJWBAA 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, taking cues from the minimalism of Rothko, the armless physique of Venus de Milo, and Giacometti's elongated figures. He achieved two notable feats: creating a captivating 3x4 feet acrylic canvas painting of 'The Builders,' which an esteemed Philippines art collectors (man & wife) swiftly acquired, demonstrating his skill in capturing the human form with profound meaning; and publishing "I Just Wannabe 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 contributions to the art world have not gone unnoticed. His work has been exhibited in prestigious venues around the globe, 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, such as 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 artistic journey reached new heights as he became a finalist in the ArtsFighters competition in Milan, Italy, in December 2022, and achieved 2nd Place in the unofficial World Children's Day event in Paris, France, in November 2022. His multifaceted talents continue to captivate and inspire art enthusiasts worldwide. His artistry has been featured in prominent 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, to name a few. With a diverse and extensive body of work, IJWBAA stands as a multifaceted artist of international repute.