Added to Cart: Ayka Go’s Play House Offers a Place to Daydream


In the realm of child’s play, everything is colored with an uncomplicated yet highly interior affection. Objects and places enact a community around the imagination. We befriend them and they, or so we believe, have the capacity to befriend us. “There's a world where I can go,” Brian Wilson crooned in 1963, “and tell my secrets to.” That world Wilson is referring to is his room, a kingdom trhat makes no demands, where creativity runs wild and passions of all kinds simmer. 

At Finale Art File, visual artist Ayka Go’s solo exhibition Play House seems similarly conversant with the private pleasures of childhood, its dimensions of intimacy. Looming over the gallery’s main space, her painting showcased in the show is perhaps her most ambitious yet: sectioned into seven rooms, the house is a window into Go’s world. A rocking chair faces a shelf adorned with frames and scrapbooks. Wallpapers and ribbons scatter across the house’s insides, signs of the living linger everywhere.

The artist’s methodical process—of folding paper, photographing the resulting shapes, and then translating those photographs into paintings—furnishes Play House with a distinct aesthetic, in line with her previous artworks. Canvas and color drip with tenderness, shapes take on a quality that reminds me, strangely enough, of butter. Matter holds its form, but only barely, and soon enough is capable of being sliced through. 

Everything inside Ayka Go’s dwelling seems on the verge of a pulpy transmutation. We witness these untidy changes and indistinct memories play out, immersed in the inexplicable yet heartening immensity of childhood. 

Added to Cart is a new section in the Cartellino Digest that features short reviews of exhibitions and events. Playing on the notion of wanting to check out an exhibition, it is "added to cart" where eventually it is "checked out," which then finally asks for a "review."