October 16, 2008.
Top Shelf, on the 5th Floor of Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street, was venue to the opening of the Biggest Outdoor Gallery in Asia by 2nd Media. What began from 10 promising Filipino artists (namely Popo San Pascual, Riel Hilario, Eddie Boy Escudero, Jose Terrence Ruiz, Mario V. Fernandez, Gari Buenavista, MM Yu, Christina Quisumbing Ramilio, Loatsu Manes and Tina Fernandez) creating artworks that highlighted environmental awareness within the country, surged to 29 artists whose arts are featured in different billboards throughout the Metro.
One of the points highlighted in the event, was to promote environmental awareness by posting artworks in billboards which would temporarily take the viewer away from their everyday stress. Instead of merely seeing advertisements for so and so products, one can appreciate and give insight to the current environmental situation in the Philippines. 2nd Media and the Outdoor Advertising Association of the Philippines aims to raise awareness that billboards are effective channels for communication, and not simply tools for advertising.
The event was a simple but delightful event attended by bloggers, the artists, and press people alike. Though catering to a small crowd, the event brought about a distinct awareness towards the presence of billboards, and the aim to present them as something more than an advertising media tool. Many of the artists were present to present their distinctive and creative artworks, ranging from photographs, to paintings, to graphic designs, to simple artwork, and even to recycled materials. Even MM Yu, who was an artist whose works we visited for our FA101 class at the Ateneo Art Gallery, was there with her beautiful photographic artwork.
I really liked the event. I agree with the companies’ aim to present billboard as something more than just an advertising tool. Mere advertising has tainted billboard art, and I’m glad that they’re starting something like this, especially since Manila is one of the Billboard Capitals of the World.
So far, I’ve only seen Mating Call by Popo San Pascual which can be seen along EDSA, on the freeway coming from SM into Greenhills. If you happen to see more of them, please leave a comment stating which one you’ve seen and where. This is where you can see the first 10 artworks that were presented, as well as some other pictures taken at the event.