(SPOT.ph) Back in August 2021, a 40-foot steel sculpture in front of SM Megamall piqued the interest of motorists along EDSA. The towering public art, which is called "Time," is a masterpiece of Filipino-American artist Jefrë Figueras Manuel (a.k.a. JEFRË). And it seems that the international artist is keeping busy as two more of his pieces were launched in the Manila Bay Area at the southern end of Metro Manila's major thoroughfare in Pasay City on December 30, just before the new year.
"Bayani," which is a towering 64-feet (or six storey high) sculpture, is found along the entrance of DoubleDragon Meridian Park. Further down the road is "Pag-asa," which appears to peer and wave from behind a building. Both dedicated to the Filipino youth, the sculptures symbolize the younger generations as the country's driving force for economic growth.
“The Filipino words 'bayani' and 'pag-asa' are huge inspiration to create sculptures in this region of the Philippines. You need one and the other. The idea of a hero wouldn’t exist without hope and with hope, you can become a hero. I believe that the Filipino youth have the potential to be recognized as active participants in worldwide activities, hence the globe for the head. They’re both composed of very hard metal that is polished and brushed to perfection—very much like the story of the Filipino youth,” said JEFRË in a statement.
JEFRË graduated from the Ohio State University and worked for high-profile clients like Skidmore Owings and Merrill, Santiago Calatrava, and Philippe Starck. After an unexpected heart attack at the age of 35, he launched his own firm StudioJEFRË, which focuses on functional pieces of public art.
Architecture magazine Florida Inside Out named him one of the "Seven Faces of Design" in 2007. Some of his prominent pieces are the six-storey "The Beacon" and "Code Wall" at Lake Nona's Town Center.
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