"Entremuros", a journey from America to Asia by families of Spanish lineage

Brussels, Jun 19 (EFE) .- Portraying families from Asia to America who maintain the cultural heritage of their Spanish ancestors after more than four centuries is the common thread of the exhibition "Entremuros", by the Spanish photographer Bernardo Aja, which is exhibited in Brussels.

In more than 40 photographs, Aja delves into homes in Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and the South Pacific whose inhabitants maintain ties with Spain, combining the essence of past centuries with contemporary aesthetics.

"I looked for all those families who traveled from the 16th century to all of Spanish America, and some who later went through the port of Acapulco to the South Pacific," Aja tells Efe in an interview.

Not without irony and humor, the photos are immersed in the intimacy of homes, where families pose with a certain theatricality in their homes alongside paintings, mirrors and antique furniture, reflecting nostalgia and melancholy.

"I really like theater and cinema," says Aja, so the photographer assured that he has many pictorial registers and artistic references as sources of inspiration from which he constantly drinks.

He seeks that his portraits evoke some feeling to the public, since moving people "is what turns photography into a work of art," says Aja.

His photographs hide details that viewers must look for in each scene, with special attention to mirrors and shadows because objects or people may appear that are not appreciated at first glance.

This project arose when the photographer found himself in Peru, in 1997, “a great Spanish tradition” that reminded him of the codes and values ​​of his homeland, Santander.

“When I traveled to the Philippines, I went to look for the last ones from the Philippines and I found them,” the photographer also highlights, explaining that he also lived with these families for almost a month before photographing them.

After passing through countries such as Spain, Mexico, Peru and Portugal, “EntreMuros” now arrives in Brussels and will be exhibited until September 5 at the NooN Consulting Art gallery, located in the building of an old cardboard factory.

On this occasion, more than 40 portraits will be exhibited with locations in Peru, the Philippines, Portugal, Mexico, Cuba and Belgium, countries where Aja was following the trail of families with Spanish lineage, in which the vestiges of traditions and inheritances remained. of their ancestors.

The curator of the exhibition, Desiree Meza, emphasizes that for the gallery the social responsibility of a cultural project is paramount, which is why she assures that following this line “the work of Bernardo Aja is important”.

In addition, Meza adds that the project to present this exhibition in Brussels has been supported by the Spanish embassy in Belgium, as well as the embassies of Peru, the Philippines and Mexico.

"The atmosphere of the photos is one of decency, that of reflections of past greatness," said the writer Elena Poniatowska, winner of the Cervantes Prize in 2013, in a text she wrote in 2014 for this exhibition.

Bernardo Aja lives and works in Mexico City and is in the process of developing the projects "Veiled Extravaganza", "Lidia" and "Tormenta", the latter being his most autobiographical work.

Diana Giambona


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