To experience Shyama Golden’s work is to go on a journey that always surprises and delights. Her visual vernacular brilliantly balances personal, playful and poignant themes that culminate in a sensory-stirring narrative that just makes you feel good and wanting more. Flavor Paper is thrilled to roll out another banger by the celebrated visual artist and figurative painter: Ascendance. It’s an optical ode, a love letter to her past and present…rooted in her family’s Sri Lankan origins with an expression of growth to reflect her current world and yet, masterfully illustrates the cyclical nature of life as a whole.
In classic Shyama style, the design presents itself as one thing upon first glance. You may see a landscape and, while you aren’t wrong, when you step to the pattern it reveals a stimulating scene composed of steps inspired by the Kilbourn Stairs and overgrown greenery in Shyama’s Los Angeles neighborhood, and a cast of characters that range from familiar folks (delivery man, exhausted jogger, the artist's mother, and a double denim-wearing couple) and folklore figures (Riri Yakka, Mahasona and Pandam Paliya devil dancers) to pets and paraphernalia (rogue Husky, lost cat and traffic cones) and even the artist herself, pushing a boulder and carrying a found mirror with her husband. There’s much more, too. It’s a magnificent menagerie of the everyday - regardless of time - of cultures, and the ultimate pursuit of thriving through the ebb and flow of things as we know it. It’s a trip!