• Installation view of Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan, Epitaph, 2020, forged metal and wood, series of 19 unique sculptures, dimensions variable
  • Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan, Epitaph, 2020, forged metal and wood, series of 19 unique sculptures, dimensions variable
  • Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan, Epitaph, detail, 2020, forged metal and wood, series of 19 unique sculptures, dimensions variable

Isabel & Alfredo Aquilizan


24 Oct - 1 Nov 2020

Yavuz Gallery is pleased to present Isabel & Alfredo Aquilizan in a benefit project titled Forge on view at our Singapore gallery for eight days only.

Forge (2020) consists of 19 sculptural works. It engages with Pandayan; the Filipino practice of blade-making that has existed before the colonisation of the Philippines. Like an heirloom, the craft is passed to younger generations of families who have a panday (blacksmith). Now, it is a waning industry due to the processes of globalisation. Paradoxically, global interconnections also maintain the vitality of pandayan in the small town of Magdalena, Philippines. Just a few hours East from the artists’ home-base Los Baños in Laguna, Philippines, is where a panday works and lives with his two kids and his wife. Learning from YouTube videos, NC is self-taught, repairing and forging bolos (machetes) for the local farmers of Magdalena and neighbouring villages. As younger generations of Magdalena watch on, their yearning to learn grows.

In Forge, Isabel & Alfredo Aquilizan and Yavuz Gallery are raising funds to create a pandayan workshop in Magdalena; among other upcoming community-based projects organised by Fruitjuice Factori Studio in collaboration with NC and the locals of Magdalena. The Fruitjuice Factori Studio is a Philippines-based artist collective composed of Isabel & Alfredo Aquilizan and their five adult children, that create artworks using humble objects and reused materials to explore the meaning of home, memory, and diaspora.

The project represents a new juncture of their community-based work in the time of a global pandemic. The mask is used as a signifier of ever-changing landscapes and experiences of social interaction and identity. This reflection simultaneously articulates the Aquilizan’s re-location from collaboration with communities in a transnational space, to their re-engagement with localised spheres of knowledge sharing within their country of origin. Although they have found themselves in a gridlock in these times, a sense of settlement has facilitated a new co-production of social spaces in which stories are exchanged. For in this space, Forge seeks to amplify the stories that take root in the community’s strength, skill and resilience. Perhaps, amalgamating in the construction of a productive social space.

For Isabel & Alfredo Aquilizan and the Fruitjuice Factori Studio, working with craftspeople continuously poses critical questions surrounding the intertwined nature of ecologies of art and community. In these dynamic social spaces, how do we co-create a subsistent and reciprocal exchange in making art? How do we create and maintain alternative systems from those that fail us? These questions become all the more important at a time where barriers and borders feel increasingly stiffened.

The net proceeds of this project benefit Fruitjuice Factori Studio’s upcoming collaborations with blacksmith communities in the Philippines.


Text by Maria Aniway Liwayway G. Aquilizan


Isabel and Aquilizan with
N.C. Pandayan Co.
Fruitjuice Factori Studio

Yavuz Gallery
Fruitjuice Factori Studio
N.C. Pandayan Co.
Cristian Regalario and
Rose Magracia
M.R. Habito
Aniway Aquilizan
Diego Aquilizan
Amihan Aquilizan
Leon Aquilizan
Miguel Aquilizan