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Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan Biography

Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan are partners in both life and art. The pair's collaborative practice is inspired by an ethos of co-creation and collective spirit, often inviting participatory actions into their large-scale multimedia assemblages that are anchored by ideas of family, migration, displacement, and memory.

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Alfredo Juan and Isabel Aquilizan y Guadinez were born in Cagayan Valley and Manila respectively. Their artworks are usually comprised of sprawling cardboard box installations or personal artefacts that speak to the transience of human endeavour and place-making. Their itinerant works, developed over years of working abroad, address the practicalities of making-do and parenting, as well as the fractured social identities that result from human resettlement.

In 2006 the couple migrated with their five children to Brisbane to seek a better life. In doing so, the Aquilizans' journey became a metaphor for the displacement of all migrant families. Project Be-Longing (1997–present) is an exemplary open-ended work taking the form of balikbayan boxes arranged with personal clothing, books and possessions that are used by the Filipino diaspora to transport goods.

In the cargo-ready balikbayan boxes of Project Be-Longing, personal histories undergo radical compartmentalisation and detachment. Project Be-Longing: In Transit (2006) presented the artists' family's own belongings unmoored during their move from the Philippines to Australia, embodying the emotional and spiritual longing for home that connects individuals to their roots.

Inspired by the precarious livelihoods of the minority Badjao people, In-Habit: Project Another Country (2012) asked local Australian communities to contribute makeshift cardboard houses to a miniature village. The seafaring Badjao, who live across the Sulu Archipelago in fragile stilt houses and whose lifestyle rejects notions of citizenry, sovereign states, and capitalist economies, reflects Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan's interest in community-building, interdependence, and connectivity.

The resultant topography of In-Habit, with its inverted mountains reminiscent of favelas or Badjao Torosiaje, share in the vernacular of the displaced, binding viewers together in the process of meaning-making. 'We are motivated and sustained by the anxieties and pleasures of a life that is constantly changing, turning our artwork into a quasi-celebration of daily life,' the pair say.

Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan Solo Exhibitions include:

From Pillars to Posts: Project Another Country, Auckland Art Gallery (2018); Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan: Of Fragments and Impressions, STPI, Singapore (2017); In-Habit: Project Another Country, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (2016); In-Habit: Project Another Country, Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide (2014); and Alfredo + Isabel Aquilizan: Address, Jorge B. Vargas Museum, Quezon City (2011).

Ocula | 2020

Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan Featured Artworks

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Wing (Large) by Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan contemporary artwork
Alfredo & Isabel AquilizanWing (Large), 2019Detail. Cardboard, timber, mixed media
182 x 1030 cm
Yavuz Gallery Contact Gallery
Last Flight I by Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan contemporary artwork
Alfredo & Isabel AquilizanLast Flight I, 2009Recycled flip flops, fibreglass structure
275 x 198 cm
Yavuz Gallery Contact Gallery
After In-Habit': Project Another Country by Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan contemporary artwork
Alfredo & Isabel AquilizanAfter In-Habit': Project Another Country, 2017Collagraph and embossing printed from compressed cardboard on 638gsm Saunders Waterford paper
43.2 x 43.2 x 3.8 cm (incl frame)
STPI - Creative Workshop & Gallery Contact Gallery
Left Wing Albay by Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan contemporary artwork
Alfredo & Isabel AquilizanLeft Wing Albay, 2016Metal sickles with wooden handle
34.1 x 99.2 cm
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Contact Gallery
FLIGHT  (Black) by Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan contemporary artwork
Alfredo & Isabel AquilizanFLIGHT (Black), 2017Screen print with silver foil and UV gloss on black Stonehenge paper
29.5 x 20.5 cm
STPI - Creative Workshop & Gallery Contact Gallery
Still Life (Left Wing project) by Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan contemporary artwork
Alfredo & Isabel AquilizanStill Life (Left Wing project)Charcoal on paper
21.3 x 28.7 inches
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Contact Gallery
Horizon: Home Bound by Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan contemporary artwork
Alfredo & Isabel AquilizanHorizon: Home Bound, 2016Charcoal on paper
53.5 x 106.3 inches
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Contact Gallery

Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan, Arrivals and Departures at Yavuz Gallery, Sydney
Closed
19 June–11 July 2020 Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan Arrivals and Departures Yavuz GallerySydney
Contemporary art exhibition, Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan, Of Fragments and Impressions at STPI - Creative Workshop & Gallery, Singapore
Closed
16 September–11 November 2017 Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan Of Fragments and Impressions STPI - Creative Workshop & GallerySingapore
Contemporary art exhibition, Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan, In God we Trust: Project Another Country at Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Chelsea, New York
Closed
13 October–12 November 2016 Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan In God we Trust: Project Another Country Sundaram Tagore GalleryChelsea, New York

Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan Represented By

Sundaram Tagore Gallery contemporary art gallery in Hong Kong Sundaram Tagore Gallery New York, Hong Kong, Singapore
Yavuz Gallery contemporary art gallery in Singapore Yavuz Gallery Singapore, Sydney

Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan In Related Press

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“Of Fragments and Impressions”: Filipino artists Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan at STPI, Singapore Related Press “Of Fragments and Impressions”: Filipino artists Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan at STPI, Singapore 27 October 2017, Art Radar

Brisbane- and Manila-based artist couple, Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, have travelled to many parts of the world. The installation artists often work closely with the communities they enter, creating site-specific artworks that explore themes of home, longing and loss. "It is always a collective effort," says Isabel Aquilizan. As their...

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IMAGINED, WOVEN, TRANSPOSED: INTERVIEW WITH ISABEL AND ALFREDO AQUILIZAN Related Press IMAGINED, WOVEN, TRANSPOSED: INTERVIEW WITH ISABEL AND ALFREDO AQUILIZAN 10 August 2017, ArtAsiaPacific

Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan are a collaborative duo who have been based in Brisbane, Australia, since 2006. Prior to their move, the partners in life and in art called the Philippines their home. Their art practice reflects their own personal lived experiences of migration between the two countries and their sometimes complicated yet always...

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HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE INAUGURAL HONOLULU BIENNIAL Related Press HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE INAUGURAL HONOLULU BIENNIAL 3 May 2017, ArtAsiaPacific

The first edition of the Honolulu Biennial has already been in full swing for one month by the time I arrived in Hawai'i. Directed by Fumio Nanjo of Tokyo's Mori Art Museum, and curated by Ngahiraka Mason, formerly of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, the Biennial, entitled Middle of Now | Here, is the first-ever event of its kind in the Pacific...

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8 highlights from the inaugural Honolulu Biennial 2017 Related Press 8 highlights from the inaugural Honolulu Biennial 2017 5 April 2017, Art Radar Journal

Held over nine sites and including 33 artists, the first edition of the Honolulu Biennial takes place between 8 March and 8 May 2017. Entitled Middle of Now | Here, the Biennial challenges the idea that Hawaiʻi is in 'the middle of nowhere'. Covering more than 30 percent of the Earth's surface, the Pacific is the largest unified living space on...

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Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan In Video & Audio

From Pillars to Posts: Project Another Country Related Video & Audio From Pillars to Posts: Project Another Country 4 June 2018, Youtube

' From Pillars to Posts: Project Another Country ' is the latest participatory artwork commissioned for the Gallery's Todd Foundation Creative Learning Centre. Dreamed up by artists and husband-and-wife team Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan, the installation explores community, family, relocation and homemaking, and is part of an ongoing series of...

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