July 2017 | Kult Gallery presented the first of its From the Streets series Pusakal: From the Streets of the Philippines showcased the evolution of expression happening in the Philippines currently through the works of over 20 Filipino artists.
Left to right: Buy Me Love, 1 Like = 1 Prayer, Shut Up by Kolown
From Manila to lesser known cities in the islands of Visayas and Mindanao, the artworks are bold in their satirical references to society and advertising, and draw attention to the distinctive characteristics of each city.
The metaphor of the ‘pusakal’ (stray cat in Tagalog) captures the spirit of the urban art scene in the Philippines. Like the wandering feline, the ongoing conversation about street art is the environment it should exist in - being either the public or domestic sphere, and whether or not the masses should be responsible for its nurture.
Kult’s curators say, “Many [Filipino artists] have names that translate into words like ‘public’ and ‘social’ - implying that they understand the responsibility that comes with being an artist. They understand their position - it is one of power, and they have the means to speak to a large audience.”
The gallery worked closely with Filipino artist Anjo Bolardo to bring together a varied spectrum of work that has never been shown in Singapore. The lineup includes not just notable names such as graffiti writer Janot and visual artist Kidlat, but also up-and-coming, fresh and playful talent like Auggie Fontanilla and Quatro who constantly surprise with their paint and embroidery techniques.
Top left to right: Untitled by Quatro, Pusang Gala by Auggie Fontanilla // Bottom left to right: Ghosts of War: The Lost Rider by Kidlat, Equilibrium by Janot
Electrolychee’s books and zines about jeepney art in the Philippines were also for sale. Stories told through the ubiquitous mode of transport and its colourful religious imagery are put together in a commemorative publication entitled Biyaheng Langit, while its follow-up zine, Paradise is Very Nice pays homage to images of sunrise and sunset on jeepneys.
For the ones looking to wear their Filipino pride on their sleeves, Kult also produced a limited edition tee for the exhibition. The tee is a satirical take of an iconic Filipino brand and is available at the Kult Store.