Have you seen the new mural on the ceilings of Paseo de Roxas Underpass? If you’re a Makati CBD denizen or happened to have passed through the underground walkway in the last couple of days, you might have seen those terrestrial and marine creatures intertwined in a sea of green and blue.
Security Bank Corporation has tapped award-winning self-avowed “artivist” (artist-activist) AG Saño to breathe a new life into the underpass.
Well-traveled Saño has completed more than 700 murals in 16 countries, using his talent to promote his advocacies.
“[In] the past nine years I’ve been painting murals about peace and the environment,” he related in a video on YouTube. “I find that the urgency is really, really great; and we don’t have much time because we are losing a lot of biodiversity, and the pressure on the environment is too much.”
Entitled “Art in Defense of Mother Nature,” the expansive artwork depicts over 47 Philippine land and water creatures clad in metal armors, symbolizing the need for more effort in helping the ecosystem survive, because, as Saño puts it, “the natural defense mechanisms of species are not enough anymore to cope with what humans have been doing to their habitats.”
Aside from getting the message across, the mural offers a unique take on street art. Two areas have a cascading design from the ceiling meant for pedestrians to take photos and look like they are part of the artwork as well as part of the nature’s biodiversity and thus are responsible for it.
“As artists, we are able to engage with the people, to get the attention and the participation of the youth especially, because art attracts people. You don’t need language or dialect to communicate art,” averred Saño.
Through its corporate social responsibility arm, Security Bank Foundation Inc., the bank builds communities through education programs and classroom building projects nationwide. The mural is part of its efforts to educate the population.
“The theme for the Makati underpasses was Philippine nature, and since education is our corporate advocacy, we decided to take this opportunity to educate the public about issues that are affecting nature, specifically Philippine biodiversity through art,” explained SBC president and chief executive Alfonso L. Salcedo, Jr.
Saño said he immediately agreed to the collaboration because of their shared values and mission.
“I learned about their (SBC’s) deep engagement with communities through their education and livelihood programs because they are committed to making lives better. I found a partner who will help me get my message across,” said the artivist.
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