In 2013, Jam Acuzar founded Bellas Artes Projects space within Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, a heritage destination in the Philippines made up of Spanish colonial-era buildings transplanted from the surrounding Bataan province.
Comprising a residency programme and exhibition space, international artists have participated, often collaborating with local communities, and Acuzar often takes a proactive role in working with them. Korakrit Arunanondchai, Josh Kline, Paul Pfeiffer, and Rana Begum are just a few names from the past exhibitions roster.
Having paused the foundation's activities due to Covid-19, Acuzar recently moved to Tokyo with her husband and son, presenting an exciting opportunity to discover an art scene relatively unknown to her.
While the lockdown restrictions and language barrier have disrupted the ease with which she normally meets artists and curators, Acuzar insists that there is potential in Tokyo. 'There is huge demand for commercial artists, and so many savvy collectors, who just don't really know where to start,' she notes.
This desire to look outside of the mainstream is reflected in Acuzar's selections below, which includes a diverse range of international artists working across multiple mediums.
Among them, Marco A. Castillo's wall-based sculpture immediately struck a chord due to the artist's transformation of Spanish colonial-era rattan into geometric abstract forms. 'I'm feeling nostalgic about home and the materials resonate with me due to their Hispanic sensibilities,' she reveals.
We move on to discuss the work of Jannis Kounellis. 'There is an amazing sense of language present in his work and such beautiful gestures. For example, how he just tilts the hanging canvas in Senza titolo. This reminds me of laundry hanging in Italy. It becomes a moment frozen in time.'
Haegue Yang is another favourite. 'I would love to have this in my home,' she says. 'The way that she plays with sculpture and the performative aspect of how objects interact with each other is so enjoyable.'
As someone who not only brings together artists from all around the world but also grew up in a richly diverse community, the idea of cultural exchange lies at the heart of Acuzar's collecting ideals, underlined by the optimistic belief in the power art to bring people together.
Main image: Courtesy Jam Acuzar.
226.1 x 226.1 cm
Sold Goodman Gallery