Art is everywhere—on walls, in museums, on shirts—and now it’s coming to you on the streets and sidewalks of the city, brought to you by Team Manila and MMDA Art.
By Gel G. Galang
When you hear of MMDA art, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
Colored squiggles in all shapes and sizes? The sporadic but equally eyesore-ic profanities peeping from underneath electoral posters? That glaring shade of pink that can easily blind motorists even at night? The ironic thing is, these are supposed to make the environment look a lot less blech and a lot more scenic.
How about having the trademark images of everyday Filipino culture made by multi-disciplinary design studio TeamManila infused into the landscape of our local streets and sidewalks?
Now we’re talking about art.
ENTER TEAM MANILA
After their stream of successful projects with industries (Seattle’s Best Coffee), artists (Sandwich), and even their own business (TeamManila Lifestyle) which began almost ten years ago, TeamManila will partner up with the government for more Filipino-oriented artworks.
Juice talks to TeamManila co-founder Jowee Alviar to get the latest news about this interesting (albeit colorful) collaboration, which will surely inspire passion, ignite nationalism, and invite the Filipino youth to explore the city they call home—Manila.
Juice: What are your plans for the collaboration?
Jowee: TeamManila has developed public art and graphic design murals as an internal project way back in 2006. It was always the goal of the studio to share our designs to the public and MMDA Art is one of the best avenues to share it.
Is there a theme behind the project?
We believe that art should relate to the public. We want the murals to be relevant to the everyday commuter of the city.
What inspired you to do this?
We always want to inspire the visual culture of our land. From small designs to public murals, we always welcome the opportunity given to us.
What can we expect from the collaboration?
We want to come out with shirts that are inspired by this collaboration. There are also plans to create artworks and home accessories that give positive messages and reminders.
Where can we check out this new “street” artwork?
We have not released the designs yet. We are looking for private partners to fund the production of the murals. We are contributing the designs to MMDA and to the public. We are hoping there are kind individuals out there who want to partner up with us in building this project.
What other projects can we expect from TeamManila?
There are so many things going around the studio. Teammanila is open to working with provinces; branding their places to promote tourism and strengthen the image of the place.
What can you say to aspiring artists and graphic designers?
[It’s] exciting to see the graphic design scene growing. When we started out a few years back, there were just a handful of graphic designers and studios around. We had to look outside the country to see activity in design. Now there are more students doing incredible work and there are graphic designers breaking out internationally winning graphic design awards.