FILIPINO ART OPEN AIRBillboards can be traced as far back as 4,000 years ago in Ancient Egypt in the form of a tall stone obelisk used by merchants to promote their goods. Now, thousands of years later, the billboard’s use has invariably remained the same – a tool for advertisement.
But 2nd Media – the public affairs arm of the Outdoor Advertising Association of the Philippines (OAAP) – is going to write a new chapter in billboard history with the launch of the Manila Outdoor Gallery Art Route.
“Art throughout history has inspired change by always going beyond the frame,” says Dondie Bueno, 2nd Media spokesperson, “and together with the OAAP, we aim for the Manila Outdoor Gallery Art Route to be a catalyst for change in the metro by pushing the boundaries of what billboards can be.”
Dubbed the biggest outdoor gallery in Asia, it features artworks from 10 of the most promising Filipino artists such as Popo San Pascual, Riel Hilario, Eddie Boy Escudero, Jose Tence Ruiz, Mario V. Fernandez, Gari Buenavista, MM Yu, Lotsu Manes, and Christina Quisumbing Ramilo, who, together with Tina Fernandez of ArtInformal, curated the exhibit.
Sharing a theme that highlights environmental awareness, these artworks located in key locations across the metro beginning from Commonwealth, EDSA up to NLEX, is in support of the ongoing international movement rallying for nature conservation.
“People are not used to seeing paintings on a billboard. This momentarily takes them out of their daily grind and they start to notice. Can you imagine a better way to drive your message across than to evoke reactions from passersby?” continues Bueno.
OAAP president Frank Abueva says that the Manila Outdoor Gallery Art Route is the change that the billboard industry has long been waiting for. “This will herald a new era for billboards because it has debunked all existing negative perceptions about billboards and the industry.”
Even advertisers, who have long used billboards for their products, are excited about this revolutionary event by 2nd Media and the OAAP. “It’s a very interesting idea, probably the first of its kind. As a company that’s also very active in promoting social awareness, like in this one saving the environment, this is definitely something that we support and commend,” says Suyen Lim, brand manager for Human.
Also through the Manila Outdoor Gallery Art Route, 2nd Media and the OAAP aim to raise awareness that billboards are, in fact, effective channels for communication and are not just tools for advertising. “We want these paintings and photographs on billboards to enrich and entertain people. We want them to engage in discussions about the artwork they saw in Cubao or how they liked the one in Ortigas better.”
Aside from bringing art to the people, the Manila Outdoor Gallery Art Route also complements the initiatives of the local government towards uplifting the country’s urban landscape. “Galleries often show their best artists at fairs or exhibits, and these artists who contributed their works to the Manila Outdoor Gallery Art Route are the cream of the crop and deserve no less than the biggest outdoor gallery in Asia.”
- To see more of the art and images available for sale on Outdoor Gallery website
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