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Art in the city

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The concrete jungle is becoming not so concrete anymore. Today’s urban spaces — or at least, commercial business districts — are transforming into livable and dynamic communities where skyscrapers and busy avenues thrive alongside green plots of land and public art forms. Formed here is a coexistence of structures that cultivates both productivity and respite from the daily grind.

Makati is one of the cities that promotes a balance in lifestyle by incorporating art in many of its structures. According to Cathy Bengzon, marketing head of Ayala Land Estates and Corporate Brand, “Art makes a place more interesting and adds soul to a space. Developing our estates as a center for art, and adding art to public spaces, is intrinsic to the way we have been developing communities.”

The Peninsula lit with Birth of Venus Light Projection by GA Fallarme, Henk-Gert Lenten and Gedrocks Roldan.

A newest artistic display in the city is that of Japanese artist Shinji Ohmaki’s “Gravity and Grace” installation. This was one of the art pieces featured in the recently held premier annual art event, Art Fair Philippines 2019.

A larger-than-life structure, “Gravity and Grace” is installed at the fountain area of the Makati Stock Exchange along Ayala Avenue until 13 March.

Olivia d’Aboville and Neal Oshima team up to make the plastics in our Ocean set-up in Greenbelt.

Ohmaki shares that the vase-like structure of his sculpture was inspired by the story of Pandora’s Box. In the earliest version of such narrative, the box was depicted as a jar that contained gifts.

“Gravity and Grace,” on the other hand, is detailed with shapes of elegant life forms. At night, the interplay between manipulated iron, steel sheets and artificial light inside the structure becomes more prominent and what’s shown are poetic silhouettes, which seem to screen human history in a nutshell.

Japanese sculptor Shinji Ohmaki together with chairman of Ayala Land Fernando Zobel de Ayala.

In a bigger picture, “Gravity and Grace” further explains the relationship between human beings and nature. Rather technically, the contrast between illumination and silhouettes —symbolized by the vessel illustrates the philosophy of Zen in a very contemporary expression.

The piece was first displayed to the public for the 2016 Aichi Triennale, an international arts festival held every three years since 2010 in the Aichi Prefecture in Japan.

Ohmaki is an award-winning artist who teaches sculpture at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. He is known for creating pieces that show a vibrant play between space and materials, and for creating intricate designs on an architectural work.

PRESENT at the opening were (from left): senior vice president of Ayala Land Me-Ann Dy, Art Fair’s Lisa Periquet, Trickie Lopa, director of Mind Set Art Center Queena Chu, Ohmaki and Zobel de Ayala.

New developments

Meantime, new and original works of art by talented local artists are also found in various areas of Makati City. They break the monotony of grayness at pedestrian underpasses, walkways, streets and parks.

Bengzon further explains that Makati will continuously provide more venues where people can appreciate art in its various forms. In fact, Circuit Makati, a riverfront development project that has grown to be an entertainment and lifestyle hub, is set to have a performing arts theater with 1,500 seats. This will be completed in 2020 and will host international and local performances as well as art exhibits.

To know more about the newest developments in Makati City, visit its website at www.makeitmakati.com and follow @MakeItMakati on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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