27 Dec 2017

Manila - Pasig River Art for Urban Change

Nine murals painted on nine pumping stations along the Pasig River in Metro Manila can now be viewed by the public. They can be seen by riding the river ferry or going around roads and bridges along the Pasig River. The project has been launched by the British Council in the Philippines.

An art map of all the works can be downloaded online and will be distributed at various Pasig River ferry stations.

Pasig River Art for Urban Change is a platform for artistic creation and collaboration around the regeneration of the river. It aims to create more liveable and inclusive cities by inviting artists to use the façade of pumping stations as blank can­vases for creative expression. It enables the access of public spaces for artistic expression while raising awareness on the importance of rivers among city dwellers.

Additionally, the project brings attention to the pumping stations, which are often overlooked as common infrastructures in Metro Manila but are vital facilities to address the massive flooding in the metropolis especially during the rainy season.

Participating artists include Archie Oclos, Cristina Lina and Malarko Hernandez, Ged Alangui, Julius Sebastian, Kris Abrigo, Luigi Almuena, Ralph Eya and Team Manila Graphic Design Studio. Lina and Hernandez are both based in the United Kingdom and traveled to Manila specifically for the project. Leeroy New and Janno Abenoja of LABNEW were earlier commissioned to kickstart the initiative last November 2017.

Last October, Manila-based filmmaker Janus Victoria received an award from the MegaCities ShortDocs Film Festival in Paris for her short documentary on the project. It features community artist, Ralph Eya and his collaboration with the children of Hospicio de San Jose, an orphanage by the Pasig River. The film won the 'Urban Planning and Landscape' category.

Watch the film here .

Pasig River is historically an important transportation route and water source in Metro Manila but has since been de­clared overly polluted by ecologists.

Through initiatives like Pasig River Art for Urban Change, the river can once again be Metro Manila’s primary corridor for trans­portation and cultural activities.

Read more and download the Pasig River map

IMAGE: © Photo courtesy Julia Nebrija, 2017.

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