Mugna Gallery brings together local artists in a community effort of creating murals on the walls surrounding its exterior space. The murals serve as the gallery’s locational landmark and is representative of the artists’ vision on what it means to “create”– the translation of “mugna”. Through regular discussions with each other and with the gallery team, the artists formed their concepts and sought ways on how to combine their individual styles and ideologies into harmonious paintings. This undertaking is the first time for the selected group of eight artists to work together, and as the murals took shape, they developed each of their contributions to the piece with mutual respect, approaching their work to complement a cohesive whole, considering their relationships and learning experiences just as important as the tangible art unfolding on the walls. As artists often work alone, the opportunity for synergy with others allowed for growth of each one’s practice. Thus with the authentic spirit of Bayanihan—the Filipino value of mutual help and support in attaining the common good—Mugna’s public art project was born.
Two murals have been completed, with plans for the addition on a third and final wall. The first mural depicts a figure deep in thought while gazing towards the gallery. The figure appears to be contemplating on what he or she could create and possibly share with others through the space. Surrounding the figure is a deconstruction of thoughts, a projection of the creative process. They are symbolic elements generated from imagination, the conceptualization phase that precedes any form of artmaking. The second mural portrays the journey of a carabao, the Philippine national animal, commonly representing hard work, strength and perseverance. It is making a river crossing while carrying on its back a cast of characters, the artists’ avatars, illustrating perceptions of how they see themselves in the world. They aim to further the conversation on what it means to be a contemporary Filipino, with multicultural assimilations throughout history and with today’s social media influences. This distinct scenario mirrors the dynamic and cooperative nature of artmaking that Mugna hopes to nurture within the region and beyond.
Mugna Mural Artists
Dyck Cediño aka Deadlocks
Flomil Rey Labarento
Totem Yap Saa