Ze Aya’s painterly and sculptural language is often one marked by precision and control, where white glistening spaces are filled with fine lines, layered with a good dosage of seduction. This careful crafting is somewhat reminiscent of those close-ups in car adverts, when a camera slowly pans over the shiny metallic body. Ultimately, a car is just another armour for us to wear. We step into that extra layer of skin to roll through the day, as the passing outside world tends to associate the type of vehicle with corresponding personality traits. Language especially likes to link these to tropes of masculinity; there goes the muscle car, the van man, the boy racer.
Then there are these moments of slippage or spills. Reclaiming the space of performed virility, the hard exterior opens up to reveal moments of softness and vulnerability. Perhaps even little outbursts of chaos or momentary loss of control? The recurrence of cigarettes, smoked down to various half way stages would certainly suggest this. Bodily gestures of big swipes and firm presses disrupt the otherwise clinical surfaces, revealing a choreography. Highly tactile materials like wax, silicone and leather further allude to a soft being of flesh no longer present. Like the metallic car body, these visceral materials are otherwise found in, on or around beings as a form of protection from the outside world.
This then is a marriage between hard and soft, where texture and movement give birth to an amalgamated form that thrives on contrasts. Is it a happy marriage? Finding a balance between aggression and delicacy, she hints towards the potential for symbolic and significant change. Is it time to go far far away, or remain, but seek distance from the you that is rejecting transformation?