Call for Artists: Pasig River Art for Urban Change

Call for Artists

This is an invitation for artists to respond to urban structures along the Pasig River in Metro Manila, Philippines.

This is a great opportunity for early and mid-career artists to show their works in a public space for a period of at least one year. The works will be on pumping stations along the river, which are visible to ferry commuters and riverbank inhabitants. Some sites can be seen from roads and bridges connected to the river.

Pasig River Art for Urban Change is a platform for artistic creation and collaboration around urban regeneration. The initiative is spearheaded by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) with technical assistance from the British Council and paint sponsorship from Davies through a partnership to create more liveable and inclusive cities. 

Pasig River is an estuary that runs through the city, and is historically an important transportation route and water source. Several cultural landmarks and historical events can be mapped along its banks, such as the walled city of old Manila (Intramuros) and the presidential palace (Malacañang). These days however it only carries a relatively small portion of ferry commuters, fishing boats, and industrial cargo ships. The river is also deemed by ecologists as overly polluted.

Metro Manila is among the world’s cities most exposed to natural disasters and catastrophic flooding. Pumping stations are common infrastructures found along Pasig River and, although often overlooked, are vital in the city’s flood management. These structures pump-out water from the esteros or creeks side of the pumping stations into the Pasig River, Parañaque River, Laguna de Bay and Manila Bay in order to prevent flooding in the areas covered during heavy rains and inclement weather. By making these ‘invisible’ infrastructures visible through art, the project increases public access to the river while raising awareness of its important role in sustainable urban development. 

Through Pasig River Art for Urban Change, the river can once again be Metro Manila’s primary corridor for transportation and cultural activities.

The artworks will be unveiled through a river art tour as part of the third annual MNL Urban Design Festival, happening 27-28 May. All works and artist profiles will be featured in a river art map, to be distributed to tourism offices and cultural sites.

Eligibility and support

The call is open to all artists / art collectives based in the Philippines or with a connection to the Philippines. There are 8 sites to be completed by May 2017.

Artists are invited to propose a work responding to the structure of a pumping station. Images are found below. 

Proposals are limited to flat, 2-dimensional works. Acrylic latex paint will be provided by Davies Paints. Additional materials will be on the artist’s account.

Artists should be able to demonstrate some experience doing similar or relevant work in public art interventions, street art, collaborations, big-scale art, or mural making. 

Artists should be available to travel to Manila and finish the work within April to May 2017.

MMDA will provide logistical support to ‘mount’ the works, since some of the pumping stations may be physically challenging to access. 

Volunteers will be invited to help artists with painting.

An artist fee of USD 1,000 will be given to the artists. Art collectives will be considered as one participant.

Whenever needed, the organisers can help artists find support for flights and accommodations.

Selection

The selection committee is composed of Mr. Patrick Flores (Curator, UP Jorge B. Vargas Museum), Leeroy New (Artist), and Malaya del Rosario (Head of Arts and Creative Industries, British Council). 

Specifically, the committee will (1) shortlist and select relevant artists to the project (2) perform curatorial decisions by assigning which artists will work on which pumping station and (3) as appropriate, initiate possibilities of collaboration between artists.

Important dates

Open call begins: 10 February 2017.

Deadline for submissions: 10 March 2017.

Announcement of selected artists: 27 March 2017.

Production period: mid-April – mid-May 2017.

A workshop that tackles issues on public art and the role of art in urban regeneration will be organised for the selected artists in April.

Applications

The open call will primarily be promoted through the websites of MMDA (www.mmda.gov.ph) and British Council (www.britishcouncil.ph/programmes/arts/visual). 

Proposals must contain the following: 

  • Name
  • Birthday
  • Address
  • E-Mail
  • Contact Number
  • Entry Title
  • Mediums / Materials / Logistical Support Needed
  • Connection to the Philippines (Citizenship, Residency, Work, etc.)
  • Potential Challenges of the Proposal

Attachments

  • Sketch/simulation of proposed work based on the images below
  • Concept Abstract - one-liner summary
  • Concept Brief - 250 words maximum
  • Answer to the question: What has prepared you to carry out this proposed work? (150 words maximum)
  • One-page Artist CV
  • Images and description of similar works

All proposals must be submitted as one single PDF with a maximum of 5 pages and 5MB, with e-mail subject: “Pasig River Art – Artist name”

Please submit applications to mmdaartforurbanchange@gmail.com. 

Contact person: Ms. Ava de Castro, +63 917 704 27 02 (Office of the Assistant General Manager for Operations, MMDA).