Manila Biennale : Art Dump 06

Some past design studies of the slums that were suppose to be an animated short film that I have worked with my mentor, Hans Bacher.

The film is now scrapped and shelved in 2012, until it was redesigned to be one of the visuals for the Manila Biennale 2018 - perfect timing and "zero waste". Ha.


Manila Biennale : Art Dump 01

Ringo and her coffee.

Manila Biennale : Open City 2018 - Manila Transitio

"Manila Transitio" is an event by Manila Biennale: Open City to commemorate one important part of the city's history which is the Battle of Manila in 1945, where thousands of innocent lives were perished as collateral damage during World War II.

Manila afterwards had an amnesia and never really moved forward, the city resorts to blindly obeying a hypocritical dogma and escapism with empty distractions instead of rebuilding, adapting and improving itself. This messy condition traces all the way back from the colonial era where each colonizers (or invaders) would erase and replace one another, thus the progress of the city would get disrupted and eventually stop.

We are all Simoun from the second novel of Rizal. "Simoom" - from the borrowed Arabic word which literally means "poison", a hot desert wind from the Arabian Peninsula that could cause death. Like Simoun, we are our own poison; disillusioned from the image that has been painted for us after the death of our dear innocent soul, María Clara.

May this event remind you the true beauty and ugly of Manila. A bittersweet ceremonial atonement of the iconic Filipino lovers to transition ourselves to a better community.

Never forget history, never forget 1945.

The Open City Festival is curated by Carlos Celdran and Mitch Garcia.
Special thanks to Lourd de Veyra.
Artwork by yours truly.

Manila Biennale : Open City 2018 - Open City Festival

Much like the Glastonbury Festival in England or the Burning Man of Nevada, the Open City Festival is envisioned as a new tradition for Intramuros, an international art festival which promotes self-expression as a means of activating a sacred space. Under the umbrella of the first Manila Biennale, Open City provides the ephemeral component to the Biennale’s critically acclaimed visual art installations that were unveiled on 02 February.

Executive Director, Carlos Celdran says, “This festival caps a month long celebration using art to activate, commemorate, and reinvigorate the City of Intramuros. We want to foster a community which will keep the City alive, not only during biennales but beyond. Proceeds from the event will benefit the succeeding Manila Biennales and will ensure that this new tradition in Philippine arts will be passed on to future generations.”

Art festivals such as the Manila Biennale and its Open City Festival are a key aspect of art tourism, social development, and urban transformation. The art and artists are on show as much as the city.

Manila Biennale : Open City 2018 - Don Papa's Intramuros Artists' Ball

The Artists' Ball opened the main performance leg of the Manila Biennale: Open City - a decadent start to a week of festivities. The ball was a call back to the golden age of Manila, set in Casa Manila (Plaza San Luis), Intramuros where guests will be regaled by performers and given a taste of what the old city had been like.

The event was sponsored by Don Papa Rum, more studies soon.


Manila Biennale : Open City 2018 (Signs & Icons)

 Charita Trinidad, the traffic stopper.

...or the cause of the traffic?

Some other signs for bathrooms, refreshments, and others.

Manila Biennale : Open City 2018 (Collaterals)

It is all about bringing the soul back to the city that is infested by malls and skyrise buildings which blocks the sun from shining on the ground and prevents the organic interaction of human beings.

Here is an official poster for Manila Biennale: Open City that I have collaborated with Carlos Celdran where we would exchange ideas - he would peppered me with a spoonful of creative ingredients and challenge to translate visually into this unconventional output, an unlikely collaboration between an arranged and jumbled artists. I love it.


The Manila Biennale: Open City Passport identifies the spectator as a Manileño citizen of Intramuros where they could enjoy art-related perks for a month besides the high-class exhibitions in the area, day pass holders can also enjoy the events and exhibits as a visitor for one day.


• Concept and contents by Carlos Celdran / Mitch Garcia / Paula Marie Nocon
• Logistics and supervision by Lesley Dufourt / Gerome Soriano
• Printing sponsored by Tesoro's Philippine Handicrafts
• Design by yours truly.


Manila Biennale : Open City 2018 (Trailer)

“It’s about bringing back the soul of the city of Intramuros.”

The first Manila Biennale was set inside the walled city of Intramuros from February 3 until March 5, 2018. For an entire month, its many gardens, plazas, chambers, and museums will be transformed into platforms for art, performance and expression. Manila Biennale: Open City 2018 is a collaboration between major art institutions in Manila.

It has collated the programming of Anthology Architecture and Design Festival, The Cultural Center of the Philippines, Fringe Festival Manila, Intramuros Administration, and Viva Manila. These collective efforts will all fall under a common biennale calendar.

The theme for the Manila Biennale 2018 is “Open City”. This term refers to Intramuros as the genesis of Manila’s culture; a homage to the city’s beginnings as a port for the Galleon Trade, a time when the capital opened itself up to the world and welcomed new ideas, products, and people. “Open City” also refers to December 26, 1941, a vulnerable moment in World War 2 when Manila was cleared of all military presence; a moment of tense freedom between two colonized periods of our history.

Draft Music:
"Sonata for 2 cellos, No. 10 in G Allegro Prestissimo" by Yo-Yo Ma & Bobby McFerrin.

Executive Director: Carlos Celdran
Chief Curator: Ringo Bunoan
Graphics & Animator: Kenny Tai