From his conspicuous fashion style, his towering height and a growling face adorned with piercings, tattoos and decals, there is no missing Miguel Aquilizan.
A UP Fine Arts – Sculpture graduate, Miguel relocated from Manila to Brisbane, Australia in 2006. Since then he has moved and worked between the two cities.
He’s held solo and group exhibits around Asia; he’s worked as a stylist, DJ and a model; he was a vocalist for an experimental, punk-electro band, Vore; and he’s worked in the Children’s Art Centre under the Education Unit the prestigious Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane.
Son of renowned, international, installation artists Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, it’s no wonder Miguel has a natural, visual creative flair.
Ph: Ash Cadiente
He has now moved back to Manila with his partner in crime and artist, Jessica Dorizac. Miguel describes his art as “objects of ritual assemblages”.
He will be opening his first solo show with Jessica this Saturday at The Drawing Room Contemporary Art Gallery in Makati.
We moved back to Manila at the start of last year. We both have a Filipino background, it was only natural for us to gravitate to Philippines. We both feel very at home here, the city is inspiring and vibrant and we enjoy the lifestyle and the people.
We have a few projects at the moment. Our first solo show – A Pilgrimage : Souls Retrieved, Ceremonies Constructed – is a collaboration in the Drawing Room Gallery. What can you expect? Expect a procession.
We recently had an exhibit at this year’s Art Fair. For this exhibition, we collected particular objects through out the course of our stay in Philippines. The result was our reflection of the Philippines and the idea of these objects ending up in the country we are staying in.
We recently did an installation work for the Manila Biennale and launched our jewelry line, NUMERUS, at the Omnibus event. At the moment we are also preparing for an object show in the space called Aphro.
I first met Jessica after my Heirloom, Atrophy and Discordant series’. From there I started collaborating with her, the first show we did was at The Drawing Room window space where we revisited and reworked one of my past works. We called it Controlled Chaos. After that we did a few group shows including a show at Art Basil Hong Kong last year.
“Mirasol” from my Discordant series and “Dalisay” at the back
From Heirloom – Leash (2013). Fox Stalls, Leather, Metal and Fabric Filler, 42.5x34x23 cm
Since working with her, my understanding and approach to art making has changed. I started to have direction in my practice. Jessica helped me to find myself, and my work now reflects that. My particular choices of materials changed, being more filtered and object specific. I get my inspiration from obscure objects, satisfying shapes, spiritual beliefs, iconography and mythical stories.
MIGUEL AQUILIZAN and JESSICA DORIZAC
Once a self proclaimed fashion addict, Miguel was notoriously known for his Buffalo shoes and for raving in his takai getas (tall, wooden stilt slippers) and has been Street Snapped for Satorialist, ADHD, Asthethic Fixation amongst numerous other publications and blogs. We asked Miguel what he’s wearing these days.
These days I keep it simple, I wear mostly black tops and bottoms. Sometimes I will wear earth tones as well. I just jazz it up with some few accessories and a nice pair of shoes.
There’s definitely a difference between art and fashion but there are always bridges that connect them together. Fashion cycles whereas art is more timeless. Fashion is derived from an aesthetic point of things where as art is more conceptual. Fashion is short term and art is long term. I like them both, I’m very aesthetically driven.
What are your favorite spots in Manila for…?
Tapsi ni Viviene – Great 24/7 restaurant, they serve good pinoy food. I recommend their speciality, Tapsilog. It’s pan fried beef strips served with rice and sunny side up egg. Great for hang overs!
The Den – it’s a hidden coffee shop located inside the Hub. I highly recommend trying the hand made pasta and the matcha latte.
Wai Ling – They serve really nice Chinese food. Located in Chinatown Manila. Great dimsums and Hong Kong milk tea!
Drinking and Dancing
Today X Future – The vibe is great there, one of my favourite spots to hang. Great food and cheap alcohol, and the best of all the people that go there.
XXXX – A really nice spot for techno and dancing. The resident DJs there are very talented and the dance floor and space is well put together.
Time in Manila – It’s a very crazy venue, it’s the after hours club. Very good place to party till 9am.
Ukay Ukay, Anonas – Its a bunch of thrift shops in Anonas, you will find great designer pieces for a really good price!
The Hub Make Lab, Escolta – located in the old part of Manila, a great place for shopping and drinking. It holds a few number of independent shops and has a very young and vibrant feel to it.
General Merchandise, Escolta – A great shopping experience, they sell independent designers and vintage accessories. They also sell fresh handmade dumplings. Great for a quick snack.
Which area of Metro Manila do you like the most?
I love the old part of Manila. (Avenida, Quiapo, Escolta, Divisoria, Chinatown) it’s one of the most densest part of Manila and a great area to explore. Lots of thrift shops and hidden gems. Lots of cool old buildings and structures. The best part is the crazy energy the area gives.
Miguel Aquilizan and Jessica Dorizac’s exhibit – A Pilgrimage : Souls Retrieved, Ceremonies Constructed – is opening at The Drawing Room Contemporary Art Gallery on Saturday 12 May which will be followed by an after-party at XX XX
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