After a couple of years operating relatively low-key during the pandemic, May of 2022 saw the Philippine branch of Meeting of Styles back in full force. Probably what made the event feel special was simply being able to all be together as one community. While the Meeting Of Styles continued in smaller venues since 2019, that also meant that the participants were also limited. The return to what’s now become a culturally iconic location, the parking lot at LRT2 Anonas Station also signalled a return scale and a sort of homecoming for the entire group of artists & writers.
In what may be the most ironic art unveiling of the year, Manila City mayor Isko “Yorme” Moreno was joined by German Ambassador, Anke Reiffenstual earlier this week to unveil Berlin Wall Fragment number 22 at the Kartilya ng Katipunan park area. The wall fragment, covered in graffiti tags was installed in a protective glass casing and accompanied by an engraved metal placard to educate visitors to the park of the historical significance of the wall fragment.
Ten of Metro Manila’s finest contemporary art galleries have put together a fresh and new tent-pole event for the Philippine Art Month calendar. It’s called ALT Philippines, and they are saying that they want to “re-frame the art show.”
Set in SM Aura in Taguig City’s Fort Bonifacio area, the show opened today and we were there at the preview to see what they’ve brought out So have they been able to do something different? We visited the show, and here are some things we saw that made the visit worth the trip to SM Aura.
Jade Suayan has pulled out all the stops. It’s very rare to find an artist who can match their artistic vision with technical ability, and this is one of the things that makes this show so special.
Walking into the show requires you to bend your head, entering through a parking gate pylon into a concept exhibit where the entire room has been transformed into a purple parking garage.
Don’t Miss Archie Geotina’s Show at Provenance Gallery. True to his street art roots, Geotina has chosen wheat paste as the primary media for this exhibit. We say primary because the prints are actually bonded onto aluminum sheets which have been wrought to communicate even deeper messaging. Utilizing this medium he has become very familiar with as a young graffiti artist, the images serve as primary way of starting his dialogue.
John Matos is a pioneering graffiti writer who began his career as a graffiti artist in the early to mid 1970’s. Most know him as Crash, and he’s a living legend. We caught up with Crash in Singapore, where he was a guest at Culture Cartel, a street cultures indoor festival at the F1 Pit Lane and launching his collaboration with Stash on Casio’s G-Shock.
Nike’s Hyper Court @ BGC has operated as the city’s hub for basketball and Nike training caps since 2017. At the end of 2019, it will end that over-two year run and return the property, which has been reclaimed for redevelopment by its landowners.
To celebrate the good work done at the location and to mark the closure of the Nike Hyper Court, the brand held two 3×3 tournaments. One for female, and one for female athletes. On that date, Adjima’s sister organization, #HoneycombArts was there to help commemorate the day with an installation dubbed “Victory. Challenges. Moments.”
“Are they turning Cubao Expo into a mall?” I’ve heard this question over and over these last few weeks. I do happen to know the answer, but there is a lot more nuance to it then can be discussed in an editorial like this one. However, I can tell you this: Cubao has changed a lot in the almost four years that I’ve been running Kendo Creative there.
But before we get into that, it is with a heavy heart that we must announce that both Kendo and our independently run subsidiary, Hidden Space are closing and leaving Cubao Expo at the end of September 2019. That’s today.
I understand that this does probably come as a shock to many of you, as it did to us when found out about this via an anti-dated letter for which there was no previous notice whether in writing or verbally. The decision was made unilaterally by the Cubao Expo Admin and they did not state a reason for not renewing our lease this time, as they have done many times over our over three and a half year run in this location. While they did not state a reason as to why we are not being renewed, we do have our very informed guesses as to why.
On the hook of “Maestro,” the Kartell’em crew rap how they’re intent on letting the city know who they are, that they’re set to “make this place aware.” It’s a mission statement, and they’re definitely doing a good job following through on that promise. To do so, they’re aiming higher than the stage and looking to the sky. Specifically the rooftops. If you gaze out the window of the LRT in Manila, you might spot a recent big ‘ole blockbuster at eye level with the train screaming TELL’EM. It’s so crispy it looks like an advertisement, which we guess it is, but it’s a DIY one painted by the crew themselves to promote an upcoming tee collab with cmplct.
Skateboarding. Punk rock. Graffiti. They’re all pretty aggressive subcultures, outlets that allow angry kids to express themselves. And Distort Monsters has been here for all of them since he was little. Whether out in QC on his board during middle school, running around Metro with a can in high school, or penning angsty punk songs all along, it was a way for him to channel his mood into relatively positive ways. And it paid off too, considering that he’s opening his first solo art show this Sunday, courtesy of the good people at Secret Fresh. [Full disclosure: Distort is now part of the Honeycomb team.]