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Halò - The Bayanihan Philippine Art Project lands in Sydney

BY Green Tea | 28-Jun-2017
Major art installations celebrate Filipino arts at Mosman Art Gallery for multi-venue project.
The first of its kind for Sydney, The Bayanihan Philippine Art Project is a collaborative multi-venue celebration of Filipino art and cultural practice across five key Galleries this winter.

In spite of the strong and lasting diplomatic relationship between our countries, the art of the Philippines has been largely under-represented and under-explored in visual arts programming in many Australian cultural institutions. This project seeks to redress the imbalance and to examine the diversity of contemporary art forms and artists of the Philippines and present them to Australian audiences.

Mosman Art Gallery is taking a lead role with its presentation of Halò - an exhibition by internationally acclaimed installation artists, Alfredo Juan Aquilizan and Isabel Gaudinez-Aquilizan, alongside the creative talents of Sydney based multi-media artist, JD Reforma.

Perhaps the most ambitious installation ever to be shown at the Mosman Art Gallery the Aquilizan’s have filled the belly of Mosman Gallery with a large scale construction that dominates the main exhibition spaces over two floors. Their 'fleet' of military-like vessels, amassed and waiting mid-journey and all handmade from ubiquitous cardboard boxes, appears in floating form between two levels of the Gallery. It is a powerful and challenging statement sensitive to the social and complex issues of migration and of the artists' own personal history and transient experiences.

JD Reforma’s layered video works convey aspects of the complex ways in which American culture has entered the Filipino psyche. In his digital mash-up Coconut Republic (2017), five films convey conflict, linked by the fact that each was shot on location in The Philippines but set elsewhere; Filipino jungles and landscapes serving as an aesthetic stand-in. Reforma also investigates notions of popular culture and the cult of celebrity in his darkly humorous Confidently Beautiful, with a heart (2017) a work about the Miss Universe 2015 pageant, at which Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach was crowned winner.

Halo is also accompanied by an anthology of contemporary Philippine and Australian creative writing.

A series of special community events and public program is scheduled.

On show to 10 September 2017. Free entry.