The British Council in the Philippines and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) recently launched the ‘Art for Urban Change’ partnership. The tie-up aims to contribute to more liveable and creative cities, and includes the creation of site-specific artworks on pumping stations found along Pasig River, a traveling art exhibition, and the creation of a public art advisory group.
The first work was unveiled during the partnership launch, located at a pumping station on Burke Street corner Muelle del Banco Nacional. Leeroy New created the artwork alongside collaborator, Janno Abenoja. Pumping stations are vital in the city’s flood management as they regulate the water levels of Pasig River and sewers.
Leeroy New is an artist-designer who does large scale public art.
‘As countries around the world grapple with the complex challenges of urbanisation, the evidence is clear that culture and creativity can play an essential role in making cities more inclusive, sustainable and economically vibrant,” said Nick Thomas, British Council country director.
He added that with problems such as traffic congestion and lack of public spaces, cooperation and creative ideas on improving urban liveability are more needed than ever.
The traveling exhibition features works from Rivers of the World, a project that enables young people to explore their local environment. Six art pieces created by students from Marikina and local art collective, Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan, will be displayed in selected Pasig ferry stations from November 2016 to 2017. The artworks were first shown at the Totally Thames Festival in London last September.