Tables zigzagging with square boxes within boxes, shifting in shape and color, more citing than any kaleidoscope. Tables riddled with geometric shapes that can be interpreted as doors or windows like uncanny invitations to magic mystery tours for the jaded eye. Less typically, a table which vaguely suggest surreal deserts a la Giorgio de Chirico, with fruits bursting out of dishes. No matter how many objects pile up on each table, a restive configuration of linear and chromatic rhythms, Ang imposes an authoritative decorum over every busy detail.
The jaunty clockwise or counter clockwise movements are “contained” within a rigid system of “frames” and propped by uptight table legs, which in most cases number more than four, and which in turn lead me to think that Ang is not painting just one but several tables to conjure a multiple exposure effect.
Eminent art critic Cid Reyes asked Ang Kiukok: “You’re very fond of doing still lifes. Do you copy them from actual objects?”
Ang Kiukok answered: “No, I just use my imagination. I don’t want them to be realistic.” Cid Reyes: “Do you constantly change styles?” Ang Kiukok: “No, I don’t know. I don’t think my style changes. It changed only when I came back from the United States.”
Here is a still life from early on in Ang Kiukok’s career, and the influence of his teacher Vicente Manansala is very apparent.
Kiukok's first formal recognition came in the form of a third prize award in the Shell National Students Art Competition for Calesa in 1953. Then, at the urging of Vicente Manansala, Kiukok launched his first one-man show at the Contemporary Arts Gallery in 1954. After that he earned numerous awards from the Art Association of the Philippines for his works: Honorable Mention, "Still Life" (1951), First Prize, "The Bird" (1959), Third Prize, "Still Life in Red" (1963), Second Prize, "Fish" (1963), and Second Prize on "Geometric Still-Life Fish" (1963).