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CEBU, Philippines – To mark the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and France, Cebu City officials and the Embassy of France in Manila led by Ambassador Michèle Boccoz formally unveiled their collaborative mural art at the Archbishop Reyes Avenue Flyover on Saturday, July 15.
The mural is a collaboration between Filipino street artist Distort Monsters and French artist CEET Fouad, curated by Claire Thibaud-Piton of Rose Studio Art Gallery, and assisted by Cebuano artists Bart Bros. and Julius Noel.
The Embassy of France in Manila initiated the project in June with the support of the local government, M Lhuillier Financial Services, Incorporated, and VIEPro.
“All of them, together with the local artists whom I would like really to thank and congratulate, were able to create harmoniously a fresco that calls our attention, that moves us, brings energy as we reach this most frequented junction every day in the city of Cebu,” Boccoz said in her remarks.
French Honorary Consul in Cebu Michael Lhuillier said that they had aimed for a collaborative project in Cebu, citing beautiful mural artworks in Makati and Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.
In searching for a wall for the mural, the French consul instead proposed a flyover bridge near the Cebu Business Park.
“Why a bridge? Because a bridge connects two points and that’s what we’re celebrating here; a connection between France and the Philippines,” Lhuillier said.
Lhuillier emphasized the successful collaboration not only of the artists but the local government, the embassy, and the private sector as well.
In his remarks, Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama said, “Let the Philippines and France continue till eternity because that’s what we need: the grandeur of Paris and the mystic of the country called France.”
Filipino street artist Distort Monsters is primarily known for his colorful characters and creative narrative through the use of his monsters – a visual representation of his “conscience.” His work is heavily influenced by local skateboard and punk rock culture.
“It’s my first time doing something of this scale, you know. Overall, it has really been a fun time,” Distort Monsters said in a video posted on the France Embassy’s Facebook page.
French graffiti artist and Jardin Orange art director CEET Fouad is best known for his Chicanos art – a groundbreaking Mexican-American art movement used to express cultural, political, and social struggles.
“I’m very proud and happy to be part of this project, especially working with Distort Monsters and I like it because we found a simple way to make it; at the same time kids’ drawings and at the same time graffiti,” CEET Fouad said. – Rappler.com