Photos by Macea and Federal Land
TO enable more Filipinos, especially those working in the country’s premier business district, to appreciate the country’s history, the Makati Central Estate Association (Macea) and Federal Land Inc. unveiled on February 14 “Ang Lakbay ng 105 Milyon,” a public art installation located at the Salcedo Underpass.
Federal Land Chairman Alfred Ty said in his opening remarks that his late father, George Ty, was an ardent supporter of the arts and always dreamt of building beautiful residences that people would be proud of. “More than that, my father was an art enthusiast and this is the way of sharing this enthusiasm with everyone,” he pointed out.
When he was approached by Macea to overhaul the design of the Salcedo Underpass, Ty said he gave a favorable response to commission it because of the great opportunity to showcase the beauty of the Filipinos and the Philippines.
“We were fortunate to have met Mr. Archie Geotina whose young and vibrant demeanor shows his optimism and happiness to life, whose black hair and free flowing fashion combined with tattoos on his arm I wish I could have,” chuckled Ty.
Geotina, also known as Chichimonster, is the artist of the project. A multidisciplinary artist with roots heavily seeded in the street culture of the Philippines, Geotina cofounded the graffiti crew Kings Stay True (KST) in 2006. He bases his graffiti lettering on the Alibata, and is inspired by the different cultures which can be found within the Philippines.
From murals to portraits, light installations and projection mapping, Geotina mixes different materials—acrylic paint, spray paint, ink, resin, wheat paste—and uses projectors and fluorescent light to create his pieces. Even fire extinguishers have been utilized in his mixed-media pieces. Geotina’s art has led him to collaborate with several different brands, and has reached audiences in Manila, Baguio, Cebu, Bacolod, Hong Kong and the United States.
For the Salcedo Underpass, Geotina’s experiential artwork was inspired by his travels to iconic destinations in the country. The huge mural depicts local heroes who left a positive impact in their communities and their heirs who will continue their goodwill. Through this installation, the artist aims to celebrate the heroes of the past, challenge the present and invest in a stronger culture for our future.
Ty commended Geotina for creating a project that has very good aesthetics and, at the same time, tells the story of the country’s culture and history. “Archie’s project enhances the imagination of the mind that gives the pedestrians valuable lessons on the history of the country,” Ty explained.
“It is a mural that binds us to the past which also serves [as] a challenge to the current to continue their legacy,” Ty pointed out.
On his part, Geotina said the project took six to eight months to prepare and two weeks to install. He added the pictures were contributed by local and foreign photographers to this work. “This project is a collage of works from different people,” he said in an interview on the sidelines of the event.
Geotina conceptualized the project like a time capsule starting from the precolonial to the modern times. Moreover, it was also inspired by the Sistine Chapel in Italy.
For future projects, he plans to incorporate different kinds of media to public installations, such as audio, visual and both. For him, the next step is business development districts tapping creatives to express and connect with the general public.
On her part, Makati City Mayor Abigail Binay-Campos said the city government will partner with the private sector to develop several art projects for the people of Makati
Salcedo Underpass has also housed works of winners of Shell’s National Students Art Competition, the longest-running art competition for young Filipino artists.
“By creating walkways that are strategically placed, aesthetically pleasing, and safe, Macea empowers daily commuters in Makati’s CBD, especially when this network of sidewalks, underpasses, and overpasses are complemented by efficient public transportation,” Macea General Manager Jonathan David said.
Image credits: Macea and Federal Land