Shanty constructed from garbage, facing the Pasig River
Shanties near the sea wall
Polystyrene rafting on the Pasig River
Trash-fight, at the mouth of the Pasig River
Fishing boats on the Pasig River
Walking the riverside edge of Baseco Compound
Geloy Concepcion + new friends from Gawad Kalinga searching for the ulingan (charcoal factory) at Baseco
The Phoenix project crew
L-R: Kaff-eine, Geric Cruz, Geloy Concepcion + Marti Salva, taken by a young Baseco resident after completing the charcoal sketches
Baseco boys draw, using Publito's uling
Young residents living at the sea wall draw with charcoal made on-site by Tito Publito
Geloy + Geric
Friends, artist/photographers + Phoenix collaborators Geloy Concepcion + Geric Cruz at Baseco Compound
Geric + Baseco resident Raiven play pool at Baseco's local 'pool hall'
After days of careful smouldering, Publito + Lolita unearth their latest batch of uling (charcoal), expertly controlling oxygen levels + watering the smouldering charcoal to prevent ignition. Their other ulingan (charcoal factories) are visible in the background + to the left of the photo.
Young residents living near Baseco's sea wall pose together during the making of the Phoenix documentary
Merman at 'Baseco beach'
At the sea-wall, Baseco Compound
Taking a break
The Phoenix production crew + helpers take a break while filming the Phoenix project documentary
Basketballers at the sea wall
“Phoenix: a beautiful mythical creature which rises from the ashes of destruction”
From the ash and charcoal of Manila’s most impoverished dumpsite slums rises a striking exhibition by Kaff-eine, with friends Geloy Concepcion and Geric Cruz, featuring collaborations between Kaff-eine and Manila’s garbage-pickers and charcoal-makers.
Kaff-eine combines her realist watercolour and charcoal portraits with the images and stories made on-site by the creative, resilient garbage-pickers and charcoal-makers from Baseco Compound and the Aroma Happyland slum. The collaborations were created with the charcoal made in these slums. These paintings are accompanied by Geric and Geloy’s photography from the area, and the Australian launch of the Phoenix documentary, which follows the intimate art-making process in the slums.
Baseco Compound and Happyland are often described as dirty, dangerous, crime-ridden, violent and ‘godforsaken’, attracting little interest, empathy, or investment to make changes to the communities’ appalling circumstances. Phoenix invites audiences to step inside these confronting environments and recognise the nuance, pride and strength of the communities living in Manila’s literal wastelands.
Proceeds from the sale of collaborative artworks will be donated to established non-government organisations that directly support the communities in Aroma and Baseco.
For information about the Phoenix artworks, contact Kaff-eine at kaff-eine.com
To follow Kaff-eine, Geloy and Geric's next project, go to cheeseagle.com.
Phoenix: Baseco Compound
In February-March 2015 Kaff-eine travelled to the BASECO Compound and the Aroma slum, located in Tondo adjacent to Manila's dumpsite, and worked on-site with the garbage-picking and charcoal-making communities. They joined her as active artistic creators and collaborators, using the very charcoal that they make to produce a collection of portraits and images on paper.
The results of this collaboration will become the Phoenix exhibition (to be held in Australia) including the collaborative artworks, and solo Kaff-eine portraits and paintings. It will also include fine art photography and documentary film from Geloy Concepcion and Geric Cruz, Kaff-eine's talented Filipino artist friends, who sensitively documented the art-making context and process.
Proceeds from collaborations sold during the Phoenix exhibition will be returned to the collaborators and their communities.