In some townships and communities, art often lands last on the list of projects and priorities, set aside to make way for other basic necessities and essential facilities.
But vibrant modern metropolis are recognizing the importance of art in defining their respective character and providing platforms for conversation among its citizens.
Backed by its live-work-play mantra, Filinvest City in Alabang has recognized the unique opportunity to inspire its “Cityzens” to come together by making art a part and parcel of its growth and development as a community.
The Garden City of the South commissioned artists to create something that will soften the built environment and invigorate the public spaces.
Among the featured works is by visual artist and sculptor Jinggoy Buensuceso, whose commissioned work entitled “Ikigai” stands proudly at the corner of Corporate and Parkway Avenues.
Buensuceso honed his craft through international exposure in Singapore and New York where he was based during the early days of his career. He has collaborated with top retail companies, developers, and hotels in and out of the Philippines. The acclaimed artist, a material expert, works primarily with wood, cement, and metal.
“Metal is my favorite (material). Not many artists use metal because it’s hard to manipulate but I love manipulating materials. I treat my materials like I have a relationship with them, parang may conversation,” he shares.
According to the sculptor, the “Ikigai,” made of powder-coated aluminum to withstand the elements outdoors, is inspired by crumpled paper.
Buensuceso explains, “Artists, architects, engineers, songwriters, poets, even lovers, use paper for writing plans or ideas. If they’re not happy with their idea, they crumple the paper and throw it away. That meaningful moment was what I wanted to capture because I consider that a journey to perfection.”
The art piece is painted in the artist’s signature shade of red to depict life and emotion.
Working on it for more than five months, Buensuceso says “Ikigai” is meant to serve as “food for the soul” for the people of Filinvest City.
“Art is important. If you see an art piece, it evokes different emotions, it helps you learn, and sometimes it even answers your questions. I’m happy that many companies are now investing in public art because it gives people easy access to works of art,” he says.
Private developments and the local government’s decision to invest in public art have helped boost the art scene in the country.
To be part of that movement is in itself, a feat for Buensuceso. He shares, “What I love about working with Filinvest is that they give me full creative freedom. For artists, that is important so they can give their heart to the pieces they are creating.”
Don Ubaldo, vice president for townships, says, “Filinvest City’s masterplan is to be a central business district, but we also want to provide more than the essentials for conducting business. One of our first efforts in making Filinvest City a vibrant live-work-play community is the presence of public art.”
“Having art that is freely accessible within the community not only triggers cultural consciousness but also promotes the community’s collective identity—one that instills a sense of pride, belonging, and human connection,” adds Ubaldo.
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