BGC reveals new murals

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UNLIKE MANY cities in the metro which are covered with billboards, Bonifacio Global City (BGC) is covered in art.

Walking around its streets gives members of the community a different experience as its empty surfaces are adorned with murals, with six new ones launched as part of this year’s Art BGC 2017: Artists as Champions of Passion project.

“Unlike many art events, we (BGC Arts Foundation) intentionally emphasize how artists are such genuine icons of passion. The emphasis is not just on the work but in the individuals who make it possible,” BGC Arts Program’s Head of Content Maria Isabel Garcia said at a press conference launching the murals on Nov. 22 at the BGC Arts Center.

“Public art is not [a] gimmick. It is not a byproduct of BGC development. It is the slant in its soul,” Ms. Garcia emphasized, saying that the “unbranded public art” was an established pillar of the BGC development plan.

This year, individual artists and artists groups — both local and foreign — painted on nine surfaces around the city. The project was made possible by a grant from the Fort Bonifacio Development Corp. which supports creative efforts for the city.

The six new murals tell stories of reminiscing about home, a special meeting place, urbanization, technological developments, dreams and aspirations, and cross-border friendships.

Beyond Borders, Peaceful Voyage

Artists: Younggyun, Nam, Siyeong, Sunil, Auggie, Bunga, Bows, Haha, Perol, Pesey, Ariff, Cyrus, Zero, Miguel, and Nemo

Located at 26th St. cor. 5th Ave.

Eleven ASEAN countries — the Philippines, Korea, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar — are depicted in the mural. The main artists from Korea and several ASEAN countries, along with over a hundred local and expat volunteers, collaborated to create the mural which was initiated by the Korean Cultural Center (KCC) in partnership with the National Commission of Culture and Arts (NCCA) and the Bonifacio Art Foundation. The mural showcases a traditional Korean chaekgado (shelf) which contains symbols representing the various ASEAN countries (e.g. national flags, Hindu gods, famous landmarks and statues). The merging of the shelves represents friendship among the countries. A QR code at the bottom center of the mural (which can actively be accessed with a QR code scanner) leads to the Korean Cultural Center’s official Web site (phil.korean-culture.org/).

For the People: Gates of Paradise

Artist: Palimpsest (Milles Villanueva, Aids Mariñas, Steven Bruce, and Leny Leonor)

Located at the BGC Bus Depot

Aids Mariñas of Palimpsest explained that they wanted to intertwine nature and the advancements of technology through their mural. The mechanize caterpillar represents developing technology and a thriving city on top of it. The artists aimed at portraying the message that growth and development, as well maintenance of nature, lies in the hands of the people. The artists were inspired by films such as Hayao Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle, Wall-E, and Snowpiercer.

Tree House

Artists: Jerson Samson and Janica Rina, assisted by Chris Andujar Villegas and Jaypee Samson

Located at the Bonifacio High Street B2 Portal

Jerson Samson’s concept of people building additional houses on top of large trees springs from the rise of urbanization and overpopulation in the city. The brightly colored mural depicts a busy city illumined by the rising sun at the center. A closer look at the 11 tree houses shows small but detailed household scenarios.

The Way Home

Artist: Solana L. Perez

Located at One Parkade

At the entrance of the One Parkade (a parking lot) is Solana Perez’s three-mural series. The piece sprang from her homesickness and sentimentality towards her hometown, Baguio City. The murals feature horses and allusions to the Cordillera mountains. The artist also used a combination of bright colors to convey the happiness she feels when thinking of her hometown.

Dating Tagpuan

Artists: John Paul Antido, Raymond Vidal, Antonio Areola, Jr., Shannah Orencio, Pogs Samson, Gab Baez, Red Salonga, and Fiona Helena

Located at the C3 Annex, Bonifacio High Street Central (30th St. cor. 7th Ave.)

What used to be a special meeting place back in the day is where a new building now stands. The memory of the old meeting place is represented through the adjacent image of a man on a jeepney and a woman riding a carabao meeting each other’s gaze at the specific location under a lamp post despite traveling in opposite directions.

Kapit Kamay

Artist: the Biskeg Pangasinan Artist Collective headed by Patrick Fernandez

Located at the C3 Annex, Bonifacio High Street Central (30th St. cor. 7th Ave.)

The cubist image of a tree with leaves shaped like a brain and clasped hands as its trunk represent an older generation imparting wisdom to hopeful individuals who aim to promote the art scene. The representation springs from the Pangasinan-based artist group’s aim to uplift local artistry. Meanwhile, the image of the water that camouflages three small fishes references to Pangasinan’s popular beaches. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman

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