MARKETING communications company MullenLowe has announced the shortlist for its inaugural NOVA Awards Manila which “celebrates the work of the Philippines’ most talented artists,” according to a company release.

“Bringing the MullenLowe NOVA Awards to Manila is our way of giving back to the bigger design and arts community that in a way, allows industries like advertising to thrive with fresh creative talent that challenge the norms,” Alan Fontanilla, managing director of MullenLowe Open, said in the release. MullenLowe Open is the firm’s customer experience activation arm.

The NOVA Awards is a nine-year-old program where the grand prize winner, judged by a panel, will receive a short-course scholarship by Central Saint Martins, University of Arts in London.

The Philippine leg of the awards shortlisted 10 artists and their entries: Maco Custodio of Lalapatos, a sustainable footwear brand using woven pre-consumed foil; Particles by Dexter Fernandez, a visual work which used silk-screened prints, balloon, and resin to create his garapata (Filipino for tick) aesthetic; The Deconstructed Garden by MJ Suayan, a visual artist who combines photography and techniques such as burning, scratching, and chemical treatment to create his entry; Non-space, Panorama by AK Ocol, a triptych was made using a “panoramic glitch to overload and produce a fake image,” according to a release; Passion, Place, Privilege by Emmanuel Carmelo Nadera II, is an attempt “to immortalize the forms, materials, and processes consistent to the design of the Philippine High School for the Arts’ Makiling Campus” as the campus moves to a new site in Laguna,

Also included in the shortlist are: Jerome Lorico’s The Labyrinth, a mixed media piece which doubles as a “commentary about how man devices things to trap himself consciously or unconsciously,” and how humanity is both suspect and victim; Anna Orlina’s Mon’s Drian, a glass sculpture made as an ode to her father, famed glass sculptor Ramon Orlina (the piece is said to a play on words on Mr. Orlina’s name and his favorite artist, Piet Mondrian); Harold Delima, Leslie Angbue-te, and Jean Michael Diosma’s Within Water: Beyond Water is technically a water filtration system but one that “brings to life the beauty and wisdom of water” as the installation attempts to draw the viewer beyond the “simplicity” of the filtration process; Mamuro Oki and Abraham Guardian’s Mama! Mama! I Feel Quaint, is a collection of deconstructed mannequins that talks “about emotions that are in limbo, of feeling neither joy or sadness”; and finally, Ken Samudio’s Below Sea Level, a jewelry collection using upcycled plastic, wood beads, and recycled upholstery leather backing, meant to mimic “the color, texture, and beauty of the coral reefs.”

The judges for the NOVA Awards in Manila are furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue, sculptor Leeroy New, fashion designer Len Cabili, photographer Mark Nicdao, and fashion designer JC Buendia.

The shortlisted entries will be exhibited during the final awards program on Nov. 29 in Poblacion Makati. — Zsarlene B. Chua