Hope emanates as a potent force throughout inevitable struggle.

In Kim Borja’s latest solo exhibition, several female faces are placed in familiar scenes donning almost lost, dreamlike expressions. Each gaze is an ode to the complexity of emotions one encounters through the varied moments life may bring.

Stillness is countered by luminescence with confetti against a blue background, resembling celebration. Borja’s signature palette — a technique cultivated over preference and the mastery of combining colours in acrylic — implies a plethora of senses: sincerity, comfort, and warmth. Induced by figures of glowing bunnies, these guardians are meant to protect one experiencing complex emotions by bringing care and companionship. Moreso, a tribute to the artist’s late grandmother who loved rabbits.

The women personas surrounded by these ‘comfort friends’ wear contrasting hairstyles, each with an attire likened to Borja’s personal style — an expression of diversity that holds limitless stories within, little worlds inside each living being.

Through these idyllic scenes, symbols of growth are found in everyday objects. Combs and scissors represent the act of letting go to make room for greater opportunities and a new and transformed self. Notably, immense rabbit bean bags become a soft place to rest one’s mind and body, giving warm hugs and promising better days. Each is suggestive of taking a breath and a moment to breathe.

The pieces in Better Days Ahead manifest a sense of tranquillity amidst the challenges faced, an invitation to find peace. According to Borja, she wanted to create pieces that “would uplift and create a visual reminder that there is always light at the end of the tunnel.” To look into ourselves and continue on to brighter possibilities that the future holds. Optimism becomes natural; the invitation to see beyond the surface of hardships prevails in brave acts of courage found within.

Text by Meg Genuino