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b. 1986, Philippines

Miguel Aquilizan Biography

For Aquilizan, second hand objects function as ‘societal heirlooms’. Rebranded in the contemporary era as ‘vintage’, the market for used objects is big business. It is commonplace for vintage buyers and collectors to source their stock from across the globe. Second hand items transition on a macro level between cultures, countries and situations. On a micro level, these objects also move between people – carrying with them a trace of their experiences and uses. Taking advantage of the Japanese surplus, Aquilizan has collected a phalanx of traditional-style Japanese figures including geisha, samurai and noblemen. Playing or building upon stereotypical Japanese imagery, these objects have been removed from their protective glass display cases and intervened with by the artist. Each statue has been tweaked with accoutrements or overabundant accessories, including paper umbrellas and floral bells. The colouring, and structure of each figure’s outfit and appearance has provided inspiration for Aquilizan’s material response, creating a series of forty unique characters in the process. 

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