Monday, June 1, 2009

Art in the Sky: PRISM 24

          I really feel good about this!

Sculpture #4 PRISM 24

Metal-reinforced fiberglass, airbrushed-painted with automotive lacquer paints, with colored acrylic sheets and internally illuminated by LED lights.

"Modern life, with the presence of highly advanced science and digital technology, simulates a prism. As manmade colors interplaying with natural hues and shades add beauty and vibrancy during the day, the unnatural pre-programmed neon and all artificial lights share with the moon’s borrowed light to illumine the eerily nocturnal darkness shrouded in mystery." JOEL EUGENIO E. FERRARIS, 2008

This art piece consists of an array of thin, prism-shaped sculpture pieces arranged to comprise a bigger prism. The overall effects of the repetition of these thinner slices of prism allow viewers to see the inner portion of the whole structure.

Whether during the daytime or at night, the interplay of various contrasting colors from both the inner, outer and lower surfaces showing colors of the rainbow, earth colors on the lower surfaces as well as the gradation from black to white symbolizing 24 hours in a day and the exciting reflections of all these combined as shown on adjacent surfaces reveal an interesting visual feast as people move around this piece of public art.  

The whole public art piece acts as a tunnel-like play structure children could play around and within while their parents are watching. And how about as an exciting triangular frame with striking neon colored LED lights for souvenir photo shots at night?



Metal-reinforced fiberglass, airbrushed-painted with automotive lacquer


"The overwhelmingly captivating beauty of a powerful waterfalls, with its snow-white rushing water and foams glistening under the sun, is bejeweled with rainbows accentuating amid the gentle mists its majestic presence." JOEL EUGENIO E. FERRARIS, 2008

These free standing series of vertical sculpture pieces shaped in wavelike forms arranged in random succession is an almost abstract representation of the waterfalls in all its grandeur.  

The amazing effects of the ranging waters are made possible in a simulation by the interplay of colors on the wavelike surfaces. Shadows in various shapes and shades and their interference with colors, surfaces, and shaped visible gaps between the structures add to the beauty and uniqueness of this piece of public art.

As designed and as expected people, especially children, play hide and seek as they interact with the sculpture meant to amuse them or encourage them to take souvenir photos of this memorable trip to the mall. 

Art in the Sky: PISTILS

                 Ms. Nora Viajedor with PISTILS

Sculpture #2   PISTILS

Metal-reinforced fiberglass, airbrushed-painted with automotive lacquer paints

"Inspired by the female, ovule-bearing organ of a flower, including the stigma, style and ovary, this five-piece sculpture set not only depicts grace, flair and beauty but also the real burden of being a woman. Realities facing women of today cannot be ignored for it is comparable to a flower that suffers and is affected by the absence of a responsible bee."JOEL EUGENIO E. FERRARIS, 2008

From childhood until old age women's experiences and role are different from that of men. Despite their seemingly delicate nature their strength lies in their being keepers at home and to guide the house.

This sculpture painted in attractive colors is meant to admire and appreciate women in a different viewpoint as it reminds us how they are so different from men in terms of fashion and beauty consciousness among other traits. But as pistils are situated in the midst of and protected by petals so is a woman's role as daughter, sister, wife, child-bearer, mother or grandma that needs understanding, support and protection of a loyal and responsible man.

It would be nice for women young and old to have their photos taken while they gracefully pose in front of or surrounded by these sculpture pieces.

Art in the Sky: PIXEL PLANES

                            Ms Mirabel Reyes my sister-in-law

                   Dr. Sam Yrastorza with PIXEL PLANES

Sculpture #3 PIXEL PLANES

Metal-reinforced fiberglass, airbrushed-painted with automotive lacquer paints

"Ever wondered what happens inside the virtual world? It’s like playing hide and seek with countless colored pixels appearing, lost and reappearing in layers upon layers of virtual planes, axes and quadrants as new images are formed by just a click of the mouse." 


This whole public art piece composed of four free-standing vertical sculptures arranged in a way to reveal four quadrants creates another interesting visual effect. This is made possible by the rectangular apertures in various sizes with sides carefully painted in different attractive colors. The planar sides of each sculpture piece are painted in an alternate manner showing the smooth gradation from black to white starting from either the bottom or the top.

The whole idea is to catch the attention of people to the instantaneous changing of colors in the shape of pixels alternately revealed or hidden as the viewer walk around this piece of public art. It is to provoke an intriguing thought of how one might possibly feel as he/she literally and physically enters the virtual world.

Each aperture could also serve as nice frame for a close-up photo of a friend's face, the whole family posing at a distance or the surrounding landscape.

Art in the Sky: BLOOM

               Perspective digital rendering by Noel E. Ferraris

Sculpture #1 - BLOOM

Metal-reinforced fiberglass, airbrushed-painted with automotive lacquer paints, with interior lighting 

"A flower in bloom evokes beauty and energy akin to the enviable promise of youth. Its gracefully shaped petals are comparable to a happy family whereby the parents look heavenward thanking Almighty God the Father for the birth of a new family member." JOEL EUGENIO E. FERRARIS, 2008

BLOOM is a five-piece sculpture set. It is designed as an interactive piece of public art where people could sit and relax. Each piece has its corresponding name. The largest is called FATHER, followed by MOTHER,  SON, DAUGHTER and the smallest situated at the center is called CHILD. The set represents the early stage of a blooming flower and symbolizes the energy, beauty and promise of youth. This also depicts the family showing the parents looking heavenwards and thanking God the Father Almighty for the new member of the family.

One weekend at the mall with the family will inspire bonding and while the youngest child is placed at the center and the focus of all each one will hopefully be reminded that without the rest there is no family. And like the flower that depends on the blessings from our Almighty God the Father for its existence and beauty so too are we. 



By Joel E. Ferraris

Faced with the challenge to design (originally) 8 sculptures for the SM Sky Garden I turned to God the Father Almighty, through Lord Jesus Christ, for wisdom to be able to set me on the right focus. I understand that it is very important to have humility, honesty and integrity in life especially when dealing with blessings clearly coming from Him. And as an artist I believe that the quest to have originality of designs is a prerequisite as a way to face both the challenges and opportunities in an increasingly competitive and highly innovative age wherein respect for intellectual property is vital.

The Internet is flooded with images of multitude of art forms and artistic expressions and with this reality plus the trend called globalization it seems that all ideas have been exhausted and are easily available and there’s no more room for originality and novelty. Yet I stubbornly but firmly believe that it is still by looking inwards during an artist’s solitary moments that pure inspiration is gained and new ideas are born as if they are fruits picked from a tree only found inside one’s thoughts.

All the ideas for these sculptures are a result of the mix of what is tangible, of the nature-inspired and organic, of realities observed and/or experienced and those that are abstract. They all triggered the birth of new concepts some of which were somehow recycled from old ones but given new forms and shapes plus the introduction of novel images that individually convey their message. These are all aimed to blend with the contemporary environment and the demands of this age where public art becomes more interactive than simply resting proud yet gathering dust and grime on a high, unreachable pedestal.

Public art as one major visual component brought into malls becomes not so purely art for art’s sake monumental pieces nor merely cheap props that seem to look like eyesores competing for attention with boring but loud window displays and signage but something that could contribute to the balance between what is purely commercial and that which is strictly artistic. Situated in a classy garden-type setting these sculptures strategically distributed to accentuate the whole SM Sky Garden area could hopefully contribute to elevate the lifestyle, the culture plus the aesthetic as well as artistic awareness and appreciation of mall habitués especially when they enjoy one romantic evening or one relaxing weekend with their families and friends.

Lastly, as society dreams, struggles, hopes and gears towards a more well-governed, highly improved and self-sufficient community of people whose succession of leaders support and sustain the continuity of vision as well as all those vital and relevant projects started by previous administrations the presence of a neatly planned and wholesome environment complete with the spiritual, social, cultural and artistic components to positively redirect and straighten people’s mindsets offers the citizen an alternative that is highly inspiring and promising. Moreover, the valuable lessons I learned as a muralist for the Hong Kong Mural Society promoting public art under the leadership of Artist Kong Ho especially about the importance of cooperation, constructive compromise and collaboration to achieve the goal of producing something beautiful are some of the vital elements that I believe our countrymen need in order to move on and succeed. But on top of that people could make this dream come true if they are equipped with humility, obedience and strong faith in the Almighty God the Father who grants His graces in His own perfect time to those whom He is pleased with.





4. PRISM 24


6. A.M. -P.M.

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.