A feast of the senses

By Cris Evert B. Lato-Ruffolo |December 26,2017 - 09:30 PM

Taste – Panu Yu (CDN PHOTO / JUNJIE MENDOZA)

STARING at the colorful Mountain Wing hallways of SM Seaside City Cebu is like reading the words of author Neil Gaiman when he wrote in the book, American Gods: “All we have to believe is our senses: the tools we use to perceive the world, our sight, our touch, our memory.”

The once empty hallway spaces near Casa Verde and Seafood Island, leading to the Skypark, are now teeming with colors and characters with six artists joining forces to bring life to what is now dubbed as “632 Gallery.”

Young, vibrant and creative, the artists are the creative hands behind 32 Umber, Terrazas Café and Sprockets Café.

Playing on the Philippines’ country code (+63) and Cebu’s area code (+32), 632 Gallery is likewise a combination number of the six (6) artists, who worked on the project within three (3) weeks) located in two (2) hallways.

Rounding up 2017 with this creative offering, SM Seaside City Cebu once again proves itself to be a lifestyle mall which celebrates music, arts and culture.

The six artworks celebrate the gem that is Cebu, full of undiscovered talents and treasures waiting to be uncovered.

True to the gallery name, the artworks’ theme centers on Cebu. The walls were divided based on the human senses.

“See” by Maddy Migallos (a.k.a. Astraberry) for sites that can be seen around Cebu, “Hear” by Anne Amores for the local music scene and “Feel” by Denmark Cataluna of Lil Monet for the ultimate local Cebuano experience, Niegel Delima of Mural Supply worked on “Touch” to symbolize the different establishments that have been built on Cebuano ground while Panu Yu showcased various Cebuano delicacies in “Taste.”

Maxcel Migallos (a.k.a. Siamese Rat) highlighted the different amenities that only SM Seaside can offer (e.g. SkyPark, SMSS Tower, Cube) in “Combination of All Senses.”

At the hallway near Seafood Island, couple Maddy (a.k.a. Astraberry) and Maxcel Daniel Migallos Jr. (a.k.a. Siamese Rat) covered two murals. Maddy worked on “See”, which presented an illustration of a girl taking photos of some of Cebu’s iconic sites such as Magellan’s Cross, Lapu-Lapu Shrine and Fuente Osmeña Rotunda. Scenic views of nature such as the Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary, the Celosia flowers in barangay Sirao and whale sharks of Oslob town were also included.

Maddy says it was the first time for her to work on a huge mural but she enjoyed going through the process of making pre-designs, choosing pantones and doing the actual work.

Seafood Island Hallway ( CDN PHOTO / JUNJIE MENDOZA)

“I wanted the mural to have an overall colorful and lively feel even when my colors and details are limited,” she said.

The artists have day jobs so they would go to SM Seaside City Cebu after they are dismissed from work at 5 p.m. They worked until 10 p.m. on weekdays and the whole day on weekends.

Panu Yu, who worked on the “Taste” mural, said the artwork’s concept is that of a map of an old family computer game with all the known food chains and street eats in Cebu.

“Cebu is known for hidden roads and ‘eskinitas’ in which there is always at least one food vendor who sells lechon, barbecue, puso. My team and I wanted to translate that in the design,” said Panu, who took up Fine Arts at the University of San Carlos and currently works as a Marketing and Creative Consultant.

Panu said she worked with Aikee Vestil, Alo Lozano and James Luib to complete the mural.

Working on a extremely large canvas was a challenge for Panu’s team. The original design had to be improve because it was not enough for the size of the wall. The team had to impromptu sketch-ups without veering away from the theme.

Feel – Lil Monet (CDN PHOTO/ JUNJIE MENDOZA)

“We used a lot of measuring for our roads to adjust the design view since our wall assignment was a curved one. We did a lot of brainstorming and research to what is more captivating and nostalgic to the public,” she said.

Working on the painting during mall hours also meant encountering curious onlookers who ask questions about the artworks. Some of them would touch the wet paint so the artists have to work on retouching the artwork.

Maddy’s husband, Maxcel, worked on “SM Seaside as a combination of all five sense.” He came up with “imagination” as the “sixth sense.”

“My mural is all about my own artistic perception and rendition of the whole SM seaside and its amenities. I like to twist reality in my own way through art. It helps me express what I cannot express through words and actions,” said Maxcel.

Cebu is interpreted in six different walls at the 632 Gallery, an unlikely place for an art exhibition but nevertheless creatively-charged and thought-provoking.

Before heading off to SM Seaside City Cebu’s SkyPark or dining in any of its wide selection of restaurants at the Mountain Wing, stop by and linger at the 632 Gallery.

It is a feast of the senses.

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