The first and biggest Mural Festival in the Philippines, dubbed as “Kulay Cavite,” brought together 40 established street artists and muralists in 10 strategic areas in the region this April-June 2017 to paint Cavite’s historic identities in public walls.
The visual artists showcased their talents using their own style and concepts with recommendations from the participating local government units (LGUs) located in the municipalities of Bacoor City, Noveleta, Kawit, Cavite City, Rosario, Trece Martires, Imus, Tanza, Dasmariñas City and General Trias.
Pioneers of street art such as Trip63, Aral Cru, Archie Oclos, Ang Gerilya, Walrus Crew, Chill, Lee Salvador, RPG Crew and RJ “Bvrn” Saquianincluding Anjo Bolarda, Sim, Killingwithcuteness, BLIC, Geloy Concepcion, Dr. Karayom, Emil Yap, Oder, Apokworked closely with the Cavite LGUs to ensure that their murals would develop a sense of nationalism and unity within the community.
The kick-off party was held on April 22, 2017 at the Freedom Park Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite where the public was welcomed in this freehistoric event!
Building Partnerships and Strengthening Communities
Kulay Cavite Mural Festival 2017 paved the way in building partnerships among the local street artists of Manila and Cavite and the local government units (LGUs) of Cavite through the grant program from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). Other major project partners are the Provincial Government of Cavite, Cavite Tourism Office, Bosny Philippines, Boysen Paints Philippines. Thisis in collaboration with GOCavite.com, Cavite Active Photogroup (CAP) and Grafeine Studios.
The project also helped in the strengthening of communities since the residents developed a better understanding of the history of their hometowns as well as cultivated more pride when it comes to their identity and culture.
Kulay Cavite artists and their art
In the video interviews with some of the known artists in Kulay Cavite, the artists described the work they did for their assigned municipality. Blic, a member of Pilipinas Street Plan and Cavity Collective, was assigned in Bacoor. He explained that Bacoor is considered as the “Marching Band” capital of the Philippines, therefore, he painted a figure holding a marching band toy. There’s also the mussel (tahong) and oyster (talaba) signifying west and east Bacoor. Included in his painting is Bacoor’s coastal area. For Blic, street art is not literal, you have to decipher, read and feel it in order to understand its meaning or substance.
RJ “Bvrn” Saquian, meanwhile was assigned in General Trias. He learned from his research that there are those from the new generation who still do not know who Gen. Trias is, so he portrayed the face of the general so that the youth, like the millenials, will have a sense of history and will be able to understand why their place was named after the said general.
Kawit, Cavite was the area of assignment of visual artist Archie Oclos. For him to properly portray Kawit, he said he gathered information about the history, culture and events that occurred in the area so he would be able to show off the role or importance of the place not only to its residents but to other Filipinos and non-Filipinos as well.
No more notorious street art
Aside from painting the historic identities of Cavite in public walls and strengthening Filipino pride in its historic legacy, the Kulay Cavite organizers and visual artists also wanted to put an end to the notoriety of street art. “Time has come for us to command art. Time has come for us to use art as a weapon.”says Tanya Jizelle Pastor, one of the project directors of the event. She emphasized the festival’s aim to alleviate street art notoriety, to promote local tourism and cultural identities by using street art as an alternative tool and for it to be at par with other mural festivals around the globe.
Pastor added that public art, such asstreet art is an art done in a location where there’s a high possibility of people who can witness it and be aroused with its visual form. Some artists use public art in creating social awareness and civic interactions. Others want to mark their territory and somedo this to show their discontent for the government. While some want to tell the truth about social reality or cultural codes through imagery.
The art world identifies these individuals as “graffiti artists,” “street artists” or “graffiti writers.”Sad to say, for other people, they are tagged as “vandals” and their activity, considered as illegal.
Christian Ray “Moks” A. Cresencio, who also heads the mural festival, has been painting the streets of Cavite and Metro Manila with his crew named “Cavity Collective” which started in November 2010. According to Moks, street artists are seen as illegitimate artists by the government and the public. “By implementing this project, we prove ourselves as genuine talents and to address that issue,” he added.
Kulay Cavite’s organizers, Moks and Tanya, decided to make this mural festival a tribute of devotion to their birthland as well as to their fellow Caviteños.
About the author
Tanya Jizelle is a former university and online rock radio host carrying the name “DJ TJ.” TJ is a freelance emcee on underground rock and reggae gigs. She also organizes music and art events within Cavite and Metro Manila since 2014. She’s recently a project grantee of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA). Currently, she’s hiding in her cave while thinking about career plans, life choices and love.