Largest Blockchain-Integrated Physical Art in the Philippines
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- Ismael Jerusalem, Jori Gallano, and Lei Melendres participated in a Twitter space hosted by BitPinas to talk about the creation of “Existential Voyage,” the largest blockchain-integrated physical art in the Philippines.
- The art is a 75 feet by 40 feet physical mural located in front of the Meatspace Gallery in Manila and is minted on the Tezos blockchain with only 100 editions.
- The creation of the artwork was a partnership between Ownly, Meatspace, and Melendres and took approximately a month to complete with the help of volunteers. The process of creating the mural was challenging due to its size and the fact that it was a volunteer-based project, but it was also a memorable experience for the artists involved.
Highlighting the largest blockchain-integrated physical art in the Philippines, the local blockchain leaders Ismael Jerusalem, CEO of Ownly; Jori Gallano, Gallery Manager of Meatspace; and illustrator and doodle artist Lei Melendres joined BitPinas’ Twitter space to talk about the process with the creation of the art. The space was moderated by BitPinas Editor-in-Chief Michael Mislos and correspondent Michael Lance Domagas.
The Largest Blockchain-Integrated Art
The art on the spotlight is the approximately 75 feet by 40 feet physical mural art titled “Existential Voyage” made by Melendres in front the Meatspace Gallery in Sta. Mesa, Manila. Its digital counterpart is minted on Tezos blockchain with only 100 editions, which comes with physical spray cans each. The project was made through the partnership between Ownly, Meatspace, and Melendres.
“We are very grateful, on behalf of Ownly, to launch this kind of project. So maybe we can claim in South East Asia or Asia as a whole, kasi I haven’t seen any project yet that’s integrating blockchain sa mural works. And the mural project that we host is massive.”
“So I think, a good opportunity for us and also it will benefit the whole Philippine web3 scene to be put on the map as being one of the innovators in the space kasi this is something that hasn’t been done massively before… This is a community effort in which we are all campaigning or championing one of the features of blockchain which is decentralization,” Jerusalem stated.
He also expressed his gratitude towards Melendres who was the main artist for the project as well as with Meatspace who assisted them in executing the project. Jerusalem shared that they have come up with the idea of creating an non-fungible token (NFT) artwork on the bare finished wall in front of Meatspace’s building. He revealed that the design was mostly Melendes’ work but a touch of Aswang Tribe characters and PDAX’s Tambay NFT figures as they also helped them in the process—the logos of their sponsors were also included such as Hudson Paint.
According to him, they started the project around the second week of December and finished around the second week of January making the project done in more or less a month. He also expressed his thanks to the volunteers that helped them accomplish the artwork.
Melendres’ Biggest Artwork
On the other hand, Melendres shared that the project was his biggest artwork so far. According to him, his largest before the Existential Voyage is not even 1/8th of it. He also shared the struggles of creating the art with spray paint as it needs expertise– they used around 200 cans for the whole project. Melendres highlighted that making the art with other artists–volunteers– made the experience even more memorable.
“Syempre, oo, gusto ko uli makagawa ng isa pang mural kasi ito, hindi naman s’ya trial kasi na-experience ko na before, pero sobrang dami ko kasing natutunan sa experience na ‘to na gusto kong iapply sa next. Gaano ko kaya kabilis matatapos itong next project based sa mga na-experience at learnings ko (last time),” Melendres answered when asked if he wants to do another mural project. He then shared that right after the Existential Voyage, they already have a lineup of proposals for mural works.
He also teased that they are making a behind-the-scenes video which covers the entire process of creating the whole 7-story mural.
Challenges and Opportunities
In addition, gallery manager of Meatspace Jori Gallano also shared that the first reaction they got was people doubting that they could finish the project as it was so huge that they needed 7-layers of scaffolds to be able to reach the whole wall.
“It was a challenge to us… kasi hindi namin alam paano ito sisimulan, paano ba ang manpower because it is not a paid project. Unlike our previous mural projects, meron talagang bayad. Hindi na bago samin gumawa ng mural na malaki, pero yung ganito kalaki, medyo challenging siya. And specially yung mga previous mural projects namin may funding, may bayad yung mga tao; you can order them around, you can tell them what to do… pero on this particular project we don’t have that power. We only have volunteers,” Gallano shared. She even shared that most of their volunteers are students from Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology, a college in Sta. Mesa, Manila.
According to Gallano, the house where the mural was painted was acquired for free as the owner immediately agreed upon their proposal. Though of course, she said they are preparing a gift for the owner.
This article is published on BitPinas: Largest Blockchain-Integrated Physical Art in the Philippines
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