The husband-and-wife artist couple, Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan compose elaborate installations and sculptures invested with a sense of Filipino culture and character, often set against experiences of dislocation and change. Having migrated from the Philippines to Australia, the Aquilizans’ work reflects personal experience, as well as the broad contemporary phenomena of global exchange and communication.
In this work, the artists have fused numerous Filipino traditions – fine metalwork, prison tattoos and the ‘jeepney’, the popular custom of modifying old military jeeps and other vans for public transport; the design of the jeepney is often vibrant and energetic in order to attract the attention of customers. Yet, the work also highlights American influences in the Philippines since World War Two, as well as the Filipino tendency to embrace external influences and reinvent them in their own image.
In God We Trust is on view in ‘GOMA Q: Contemporary Queensland Art’ currently at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) until 11 October. The accompanying publication profiles the latest innovations and achievements by some of Queensland’s leading visual artists.