A Filipino artist couple’s story of moving away, coming back, and rebuilding.
This is an excerpt from Lifestyle Asia’s July 2023 Issue.
Home is a four-letter word that is subjective in meaning. For others, a home is a place; for some, a home is a person, while others struggle to find solace in a so-called home. Different from the concept of a house, a home’s definition is not necessarily confined to four corners. Sometimes, a home is situated wherever your passion lies.
Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan, a Filipino contemporary artist duo, know more about the concept of home. Originally from different parts of the Philippines, Cagayan, and Manila, the couple is now based in Australia. The duo has traveled around the world for exhibitions, collaborating to create art that communicates their story as Filipinos away from their home country.
The couple’s art reflects their stories as a Filipino family outside the Philippines. Every detail that can be found in their artwork is reminiscent of a time or a memory of a family in their home country. The Aquilizan family works as a unit, leaning on each other for inspiration and strength in every artwork they do. “Probably the difference is we collaborate as husband and wife, and now, we started working as a family collectively. We started working with our five children, who are all artists,” Alfredo said.
Aside from the creating art being a family affair, the duo also takes inspiration from their volatile lifestyle “Aside from what Alfredo said, we work with our children. I think it’s also us, being in constant movement,” Isabel said. Showcasing their art around the world, bringing the concept of home and belongingness to every country they go to.
Traveling and moving around is a challenge, rather than a struggle, for the Aquilizans. Moreover, working around a new culture repeatedly is something they look forward to since it helps them tap into the feelings they need to create art.
Essence of Dwelling
Alfredo and Isabel’s lifework is an ode to the longingness for home. “When we start creating these works. We are always in touch with where we’re coming from as Filipinos. You always try to be in touch with your sensitivities of who you are as a Flipino,” Isabel explained. Their exhibition in Museum MACAN in Indonesia this June 2023, entitled Somewhere, Elsewhere, Nowhere culminates over 20 years of experience. The survey exhibition is for Filipinos who left home and want to come home.
Fueled by the community work they did during the height of the pandemic—helping out the local artisans around their studio. The couple is packing up their lives in Australia to come home to the Philippines to continue what they started. Alfredo and Isabel plan to work closely with the locals to help and assist them get back on their feet.
Read more by purchasing a copy of the Lifestyle Asia July 2023 magazine via SariSari.shopping or select newsstands in National Bookstore and Fully Booked. Subscribe to the E-Magazine via Readly, Magzter, and Press Reader.
Banner Photo via Museum MACAN.