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Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan

Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan, who were both born in the Philippines in 1962 and 1965. After relocating their center of activity from the Philippines to Australia in 2006, expressions of their own identity and “habitat” have become important themes in their work. The collaborative duo have exhibited their projects worldwide, including at the 50th and the 56th Venice Biennale, 2003 and 2015; the 5th Gwangju Biennale, 2004; the 15th Biennale of Sydney, 2006; the Singapore Biennale 2008; the 3rd and the 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane, 1999 and 2010; the Liverpool Biennial 2010, held at Tate Liverpool; and the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art and the Sharjah Biennial 11, both in 2013.

Isabel and Alfredo’s long-term residency occurred throughout 2017

“The work is grounded on the idea of engagements. First is the engagement with the site, the community and the materials and how these inform and create the meaning the work, second is the engagement with the brief of the Bellas Artes Project and the how concept is being generated within the framework of these projects, third is the engagement with the space and how it dictates the form and the context of the work and lastly the engagement with the audience, instigating participations in the creation of the meaning of the work” –Isabel and Alfredo. 

Born in Cagayan Valley 1962, Alfredo was inspired by four original wooden houses from Cagayan province that had been transferred to their current location in Bataan in 2000. The structures triggered a connection and a memory of home away from home for the Aquilizan family, who were moved to create an environment that would be a quiet homage to those who left home and lie outside categorical boxes of belonging. 

Along with their children, Miguel, Diego, Amihan, Leon, and Aniway, the Aquilizans collected scraps of salvaged materials from Las Casas Workshops including wood and marble. They designed and collectively constructed a reconfigured Zen-inspired garden underneath the Cagayan houses. This installation is a place where one can contemplate the journeys that the houses—and the families who once lived inside them—underwent in order for the garden to come into existence. 

At noon, the afternoon sun perches directly above the garden, allowing light to pour through the floorboards of the Cagayan houses. Light, associated with hope, warms the garden with memories of beauty, family, and love that are associated with the idea of “home”. Noon is also the time when workers, both in Las Casas workshops and elsewhere, ritually take an hour lunch break, allowing them to find solace from the labor that keeps them from home. 

An exhibition version of this installation, High Noon at Cagayan Garden was presented at Bap’s Outpost in Makati on August 15–October 15, 2017. 

Bellas Artes Projects
2/F Victoria Towers
Panay Avenue cor. Timog Avenue
Quezon City 1103


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