‘Bound’, a six-metre-long cast bronze sculpture created by the internationally-acclaimed Filipino-born artist duo Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan was unveiled at Sirius Sydney in The Rocks.

The first permanent public artwork by the celebrated artists, the sculpture takes the form of a sea vessel comprised of 85 pieces of luggage tied together by more than 150 metres of rope. Located on Cumberland Street in the historically significant inner Sydney area of The Rocks, Bound’s design is informed by the history and universal narratives of The Rocks.

“The work encourages viewers to reflect on their own heritage and sense of belonging to 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,” the artists says.

“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,” they say.

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

The Aquilizans have been collaborating for more than 20 years, drawing from their own personal experiences to create highly detailed installations and sculptures exploring ideas of identity, migration, journey and displacement. Made using everyday 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.

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. "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 artists’ works have 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 creations 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: Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan, Bound, 2024, installation view at Sirius Sydney at The Rocks. Courtesy of the artist, Ames Yavuz and UAP | Urban Art Projects, photo by Document Photography