Monday, June 1, 2009

At the SM Sky Garden: Architecture, Public Art, etc... a welcome sight!

The newly opened SM Sky Garden at SM City North Edsa has added hope and promise to the changing landscape in the Philippines. Aside from being another venue for good shopping and relaxation it also offers a mix of architecture, landscape architecture and public art as well as entertainment where artists and musicians share their talent to thousands of people. 

I used to go to shop, spend afternoons and evenings or even watch movies at the oldest mall of SM Supermalls.

              Jose Mari Chan and Janet Basco at the Sky Dome

The new venue that offers a wholesome and exciting park to young and old people alike is to me an inspiring piece of architecture what with the green landscape incorporated into it to balance the trend of increasing modernization where concrete canyons replace the natural habitat. This seemingly inevitable trend reminds me of my large painting titled TWO LANDSCAPES, TWO CHILDHOODS which was exhibited in my solo show FREE FLOW in the USA in 2006.

When cities inevitably turn crowded and where city planners look for more neatly well-designed network of roads and other access for mass transportation to connect important places and where zoning is a vital element to create a balance between all team players with positive mindsets in a growingly urbanized place while giving high priority on maintaining the natural ecological environment then the sight of a piece of architecture to suit these needs and contribute in offering solutions is very much welcomed. Lessons could be learned from the natural characteristics and behavior of the earth wherein disasters in many forms destroy the natural ecology yet the earth is able to replace precious living things that were lost by the sprouting and thriving of new ones. The same could be true if architecture makes it a point to incorporate more and more green landscaping within and around its structures.

I'm not sure who really started the first idea of constructing shopping malls but like any other products of imagination that became tangible they are envisioned to offer convenience to people. Not only that, their sustainability, business continuity and increasing success in achieving their vision is one good yardstick for the country's leaders to emulate.

Living in Hong Kong with my family away from our country I couldn’t help but pour out my sentiments in my other blog as we read news each day of developments in the Philippines. While positive projects compete with disgusting news and while intellectuals reflect on the state of the leadership starting from the breeding ground where the youth, especially those blessed with education, play important roles still the question remains whether the coming elections will produce new breed of morally upright and steadfast leaders with vision. Yet there is clear hope and promise seen in the physical developments all around the country inspired by the developments in Dubai or any highly developed country for that matter. 

The Philippines is a rich country not only in history but also in natural as well as human resources. And despite various and conflicting religious practices still it is a country where people believe in God and His divine mercy. Proof to His blessings is the avalanche of news where excellence in the field of music, sports, the arts and other professions bring not only dollar remittances but also accolades by a world still tantalized by that bloodless People Power revolution more than two decades ago.

While blessings come in many forms the key to success and to sustain this is strong faith and humility in the presence of an Almighty God the Father.

              Mr. Hans T. Sy sharing the vision with us

People with vision , especially those who believe that success will come in His own perfect time,  inspire. To move forward is to let go of the many unwanted burden in life and to be guided by His light. I remember how King Solomon was made so rich not only with material wealth but also with Wisdom. Likewise King Nebucchadnezzar's story offers a lot of lessons too especially on faith and humility.

With the mass transit connecting various areas in the city it is really good now that we can escape the traffic, reach the malls to relax and enjoy the cool air inside or watch the coming sunset at the Sky Garden while we reflect on all things that would make our visions and dreams come true ... in His own perfect time.

On hindsight ... who could have ever imagined that, however small it is, I will one day be part of this positive change happening in the country when I was asked to design the 6 sculptures, all interactive pieces of public art, for SM Sky Garden . And through the years as an artist I have learned that social realism as a subject in art will only remain hanging on walls neglected and gathering dust if the message does not come out of the canvas to face reality and bring the right and positive solutions. What the country needs now are artists who have the mindset to move on and who cease to dwell on the rottenness in society but are equipped with vision guided by faith in the Almighty God the Father to help and contribute in giving solutions to society's many problems by starting from within their own selves. Art as a blessing that could offer therapeutic remedy to rejuvenate and invigorate a weary mind could also help propel into surprising heights suffering communities. As an example the lessons derived from the Quebec murals must be welcomed as an inspiration on how public art becomes one of the many tools towards positive change.  

I am a dreamer too and with my art and that of my siblings and my countrymen I hope that one day the whole world will come in droves to my country, the Philippines, and see more and more works of private or public art as a means to generate funds for the country through tourism and the art market.

    My sister-in-law Mirabel Reyes, Mark Nelson, the host, Rovilson Fernandez and me.


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joel ferraris said...

Thank you very much. I hope there'll be more public art as a way to contribute in the upliftment of society.

Joel F