THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) this week commissioned a team of international and local artists to make the boat ride along the historic Pasig River “artistically pleasing.”
This was learned after the MMDA announced its partnership with the British Council, Davies Paints, San Miguel Holdings, and OneReDesign Manila in its bid to regenerate the urban waterways. The team of artists was specifically tasked to mount murals on the agency’s pumping stations to be visible along the Pasig River.
MMDA Assistant General Manager for Operations Julia Nebrija said the artists were chosen to take part under the agency’s Pasig River Art for Urban Change project after careful evaluation and screening.
An Advisory Group, headed by Nebrija, composed of artist Leeroy New; Patrick Flores, UP Vargas Museum curator; and Lai del Rosario of the British Council and head of Arts and Creative Industries selected the finalists from the 75 artists who submitted proposals through an open call.
The finalists include Archie Oclos, Cristina Lina, Ged Alangui, Julius Sebastian, Kris Abrigo, Luigi Almuena, Malarko Hernandez, Ralph Eya and Team Manila.
Nebrija said Lina and Hernandez, who are both based in the United Kingdom, will travel to Manila for the project.
Nebrija also said this is the first of many projects the MMDA hopes to champion through the Pasig River Art for Urban Change project an initiative of the MMDA and its partners to create more livable and inclusive cities through the regeneration of urban waterways.
The project aims to inspire Metro Manila citizens to explore the river on the Pasig River Ferry where they can appreciate the river’s potential and also be made aware of the challenges such as cleanliness that affect its rehabilitation.
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.
To help these facilities to work efficiently in pumping excess water during heavy downpour, MMDA’s Flood Control and Sewerage Management Office personnel are regularly de-clogging and clearing waterways of garbage and other debris.
The artists will be painting murals on eight different pumping stations along the Pasig River starting June up to July this year. The MMDA and its partners will organize an art cruise as soon as all of the murals are finished.