Ang Kiukok is widely considered one of the leading modernist painters in the Philippines. Born of Chinese descent, and worried about China's fate amidst the turbulent political climate, his father named him Kiukok, which means "save the country." Ang came of age during the divisive period of post-WWII and coming from a strict Chinese upbringing and background, it was particularly difficult for Ang to become an artist due to familial pressures to choose a proper career or vocation. Nonetheless Ang persevered, enthusiastically absorbing influences from the modern art movement and fusing this with subject matters close to his heart. He eventually became an acclaimed artist within the Philippines, embraced by the local Chinese community and was even invited to exhibit with the Chinese Artists' League in Taiwan as his career began to gain momentum.
Ang's works are strongly influenced by modern and cubist expression; particularly reminiscent of Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo As a young artist, Ang studied with cubist pioneer Vicente Manansala. However unlike Manansala, Ang's works are not obviously charged with social or political messaging, and he refrained from painting genre scenes. Ang preferred instead to focus on objects or scenes which could be purely abstracted - still lifes, animals, people, landscapes, or views through open windows. Particularly, the granulated texture of his brushwork became a primary characteristic of Ang's. The objectivity of his content is contrasted against the strength of the emotional response simulated by the subjects: a slavering dog, a cat with rising hackles, or a man caught in a silent scream. The subjects are quintessentially Filipino in nature, but born of a subtle love for commonly seen things or people rather than a dramatized idyll or societal eulogy. Yet Ang captures the underlying sentiments through hard-edged expressionist nature of his painting which symbolized the do-or-die atmosphere of 20th century Philippines.
A faithful Catholic, Ang created works referencing parables from the bible. In the present Lot Fisherman, the reference could be alluded to the parable where Jesus asks fisherman with empty catches to cast their nets into the sea, and to their amazement the nets came up filled with a bountiful harvest from the sea.
Ang paints with a foundation of religiosity but approaches it through the eagle eye of his artistic vision. Strong colors, dense geometric lines, and boxy shapes are hallmarks of his practice, with the figure perhaps representing the artist with his deep seated conviction of faith amidst his own spiritual journey.