Isabel & Alfredo Aquilizan’s work acquired by the National Gallery of Australia

25 Aug 2022

Yavuz artists Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan’s Wings Baanan Series #8 has been acquired by the National Gallery of Australia.

In their latest ongoing Left Wing Project, the Wing Baanan series engages with Pandayan, the Filipino practice of blade-making that existed before the colonisation of the Philippines. Like an heirloom, the craft is passed on to younger generations of families who have a panday (blacksmith). Now, it is a waning industry due to the processes of globalisation and the growth in accessibility of cheaper tools manufactured in China.

Paradoxically, global interconnections also maintain the vitality of pandayan in the small town of Magdalena, Philippines. Magdalena is a small farming village that is about an hour’s drive from the artists’ Philippine studio. This is where the Aquilizans discovered NC, a lone panday in his small, makeshift studio. Learning from YouTube videos, NC is self-taught, repairing and forging farming implements within the community and its neighbouring villages.

The Aquilizans’ work is now part of the National Gallery of Australia’s permanent collection.

Image artwork: installation views of Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan, Wings Baanan Series #8 2021, hand-forged metal and wood, 200 x 60 x 20 cm