in 2024 I am currently working on:
Ina, Mata, Asucena: Contemporary Art from the Philippines
01 February 2024 - 28 March 2024
Sandimen Cultural Centre, Pingtung County, Taiwan
curated by Yee Chung Kee
Aida Azin, Brown Pillars, 2017-2024, dimensions variable, installation (various materials, bamboo, mixed media on canvas, rope)
In 2017 Aida studied accounts of systemic racism in the visual arts using a postcolonial theoretical framework, comparing it to personal and collective accounts then in 2017. The research resulted in an art installation called Brown Pillars comprised of paintings on unstretched canvas, secured to bamboo structures as a metaphor for scaffolding on which art institutions were built.
Brown Pillars is now showing as part of the exhibition Ina, Mata, Asucena; Contemporary Art from the Philippines
“Brown Pillars reconsiders the gallery space to critique the effects of institutional racism in art systems.
Food wrappers are a continuous motif in the artworks as a reference to the way in which I found my identity in Asian grocery stores when I could not find it reflected in the art world.
A scaffolding system made from bamboo poles is used as a visual metaphor to bring form to the contradictory condition, inside the gallery system, where ‘brown bodies’ are hyper-visible and simultaneously invisible. The grid scaffolding references modernism, while the bamboo represents the labour and ingenuity of the people on whose backs European Modernism staked its claim to singularity. In defiance of this singularity, I argue that the West does not own either Modernism or modernity.
The labor of African, Asian, Latinx and Indigenous people has been historically erased from what the West deems ‘serious art’, and still they are tokenised in this performance of ‘inclusivity’.”