Brisa Amir’s “collage paintings” allow her to discover the world around her.
Vogue Philippines invited 10 artists to showcase what “celebration” means to them through their chosen medium. For artist Brisa Amir, her art is a way to celebrate humanity.
Artist Brisa Amir began her creative journey as a young child, playing in her father’s studio and having conversations with him about various fields in the arts. Her mother was equally supportive, allowing her to pursue her passions. These days, she’s been making a name for herself in the gallery circuits with her unique “collage paintings,” a unique process she developed, which includes frottage, stencils, paintings in the style of abstract expressionism, and embroidery.
These allow her to mark flat paper with physical objects and structures from her own environment, resulting in a complex mixed media artwork that she develops intuitively. Though her subjects differ, much of her work focuses on socio-political statements, such as issues of urban gentrification and its damage to the environment.
“The textures, shapes, rips, and tears present in my work represent certain things such as developmental aggression experienced directly by my family and my community,” she explains. “The bright tones and pop colors represent commercialization and the rise of corporate land grabbing, the effects of which I notice during my daily walks in the metropolis.”
At the beginning of her process lies raw emotion from immediate social concern, followed by inspiration derived from the world around her. “I zoom out of my personal space, go outside on the streets and observe the people around me,” the artist says. “Then I return home inspired to take notes, continue my daily collages, and consume other works of related artists through films.”
The rising talent is well on her path to establishing herself in the art world. Her collages and installations have found themselves in the likes of Artinformal Makati, and even in her own one-woman show, in the first S.E.A. Focus in Gillman Barracks, Singapore. Her work has been recognized by the Ateneo Art Awards and has even been granted the Italian Purchased Prize in 2021.
“My works are instinctive: narrated and shaped by the never-ending process of adapting to temporary spaces as I construct the identity of one’s self,” Amir says. “Through materiality, I seek the means of processing and of offering an inquiry on the spaces we live in and the lands we let live.”
These days, Amir is preparing for a group show of new works at Marina Bay Sands Singapore, alongside other contemporary Filipino artists like Nice Buenaventura and Elaine Navas. In the future, inspired by the work of sound ecologist Hildegard Westerkamp (Kits Beach Soundwalk), she hopes to explore sound as a medium to understand the ecological characteristics of a landscape.
“This is a dedication to the stories of humanity, in particular, the working class and the farmers, the indigenous people, and the women who are working hard to feed us and to protect our environment so we all can live. I want to show and celebrate their life and struggles through my collages.”—Brisa Amir