Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan's 'Bound'

Major new public artwork by internationally acclaimed artist duo unveiled at Sirius Sydney

Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan's 'Bound'

July 4, 2024, Sydney, Australia:  A major new public artwork by internationally-acclaimed, Filipino-born artist duo Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan was today unveiled at Sirius Sydney in The Rocks. Titled Bound, the work is a six-metre-long cast bronze sculpture in the form of a sea vessel comprised of 85 pieces of luggage tied together by more than 150 metres of rope. The work is the first permanent public artwork by celebrated artists whose works are collected by institutions worldwide.

Located on Cumberland Street in the historically significant inner Sydney area of The Rocks, Bound has been created with an understanding and memory of the history and universal narratives of The Rocks. Artist duo Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan explained: “The work encourages viewers to reflect on their own heritage and sense of belonging to a place whilst acting as a reminder and memory of journeys taken and explorations still to come. The physical binding of the luggage conveys the act of becoming emotionally and metaphorically bound together through community.” 

“Our artwork symbolises hope and the creation of new memories, celebrating the unity formed through shared experiences and a sense of belonging. It serves as a reminder of the viewer's own roots, personal journeys and exploration,” added Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan.

Curated by UAP | Urban Art Projects, a panel of industry specialists was convened to select the award-winning husband and wife artist duo for this major site-specific artwork that JDH commissioned Capital for Sirius Sydney.

JDH Capital Executive Chairman and Founder Jean-Dominique Huynh said: "We are proud to have commissioned this major new public artwork for Sydney by celebrated artists Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan. Bound captures the essence of community and shared experiences and invites locals and visitors to The Rocks to reflect on their own journeys and identities.” 

Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan are renowned for their collaborative practice, spanning more than 20 years. Drawing from their own personal experiences of global movement in relation to family and home, the artist duo creates highly detailed installations and sculptures exploring ideas of identity, migration, journey and displacement. Often using every day, non-traditional materials, their work draws attention to the transient nature of global movement, settlement and community, creating objects that serve as metaphors for everyday human life. Cast in bronze, this artwork translates their use of ephemeral materials into an object of permeance for the public to experience for decades into the future. 

Former UAP Managing Principal Owen Craven, who led the curation and fabrication of the artwork as the Public Art Consultants, worked closely with the artists throughout the process. He said: "Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan created Bound with a deep understanding of the rich history of The Rocks, both past and present. This significant work invites people to bring their own stories to the place and is set to become a lasting and important public artwork for this iconic location." 

The work of Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan has been presented extensively in leading museums and exhibitions worldwide, including at the Venice Biennale, Singapore Biennale, Biennale of Sydney and Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art. Their works are included in the public collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Queensland Art Gallery, Singapore Art Museum and Fukuoka Asian Art Museum in Japan.

Image credit: Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan, Bound, 2024, installation view at Sirius Sydney at The Rocks. Courtesy of the artist, Ames Yavuz and UAP | Urban Ar Projects, photo by Document Photography

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