CULTURAL POTPOURRI| Greenbelt’s Fashionable Trees

  FLASH floods and mudslides spawned by typhoons would not have happened in the affected areas of Mindanao if deforestation of the areas by logging firms had been prevented. One gets to recall the words of wisdom of Franklin D. Roosevelt when he stated, “A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” I forgot who it was who said, “To be without trees is to be the most starved human being in the world.”

AYALA Museum’s colorful Yarn Bomb-Knit Bomb exhibition

AYALA Museum’s colorful Yarn Bomb-Knit Bomb exhibition

   For all the urban sprawl and commerce that comprise the concrete jungle that is the Makati Commercial Center, there is an accessible showcase of what seems like a botanical garden that is the oasis of Greenbelt. The Greenbelt Park of the Ayalas surely give solace as a sanctuary for office workers, tired shoppers and just weary souls roaming around in the vicinity. And as always, interesting outdoor art exhibition is a part of it.

THE YARN bombed Balete Communitree with Solomon Saprid’s tiyanak sculpture

THE YARN bombed Balete Communitree with Solomon Saprid’s tiyanak sculpture

     It was in September, 2017, when the Ayala Museum invited the public to be a part of its “Yarn Bomb-Knit Bomb” outdoor exhibition. The goal was to dress up the Greenbelt Garden with the Queen of Knitwear, Lulu Tan-Gan, personally working with the participants in creating the exhibition. Participants were asked to knit circular pieces of yarn which would be used as material for the outdoor exhibition at the Ayala Museum and Greenbelt Garden.

     Yarn bombing is described as a type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful display of knitted or crocheted yarn or fiber rather than paint or chalk.

ATTRACTIVE rocks in knits by the pond

ATTRACTIVE rocks in knits by the pond

“The Ayala Museum and the Ayala Malls redefine the museum experience with this exhibition which brings art outside of the gallery and to the outdoors. It aims to revive, repurpose, and innovate traditional weaving, knitting and crocheting in a venue for the community to share their talent and passion for this craft. The exhibit can be seen around the Greenbelt Gardens in five major areas: The Retro Steps, Retro Tribo Walk, Retro by the Chapel, Retro Walk, and the Retro-Galactic Communitree….The Greenbelt/Ayala Museum Experience enhances the experience of mall goers and extends the Ayala Museum exhibitions to public spaces. It is a platform for promoting Philippine history and culture, artistry and craftsmanship,” said the Ayala Museum Senior Dir. Mariles Gustilo.

TREES got the blues

TREES got the blues

     For the country’s Queen of Knitwear, Lulu Tan-Gan, the on-going exhibit is an opportunity to revive our country’s hand-textile traditional crafts which she pointed out is different from our traditional indigenous fabrics. Lulu Tan-Gan used Tinguian motifs as her inspiration motif. “Even on a tree, my intention is to showcase current fashion and not tribal nor traditional weaves which already has its place with very successful local and global groups.” The Lady of Knitwear hopes the exhibition would touch people of varying ages and backgrounds; and “encourage them to explore traditional crafts as these are a part of our culture and the foundation of textile design.” She laments the fact that “millennials are no longer exposed to handmade traditional crafts.”

DETAIL of Tinguian motif by Lulu Tan-Gan

DETAIL of Tinguian motif by Lulu Tan-Gan

     Seeing the Greenbelt trees dressed so colorfully and creatively in handcrafted knits, it’s about time we paid tribute to our still existing trees for they remind us of the Law of Life.

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