98B Collaboratory Saturday Future Market

On the street of Escolta, the diminishing lower level of First United Building Corp. comes alive as it houses the monthly 98B Collaboratory Future Market.

It's an art fair for independent artists to showcase and sell their work, and it is also the place to be for wearable art enthusiasts and vintage item collectors.

The organizers determine (but does not limit) certain art themes for each month. Artists who contribute artworks that fall under the theme are said to be prioritized during the Future Market's registration.

This June, OPM took the main stage.

Numerous graphic designs, watercolor paintings, and calligraphy printed on notebooks, postcards, shirts, purses, and other items that can be used everyday contained a line or two from the Eraserheads and was attuned to the different pop styles of today.

Here's my Saturday haul:

1. Postcards

With its digital craypass illustrations, I figured a lot of my friends would be delighted to get these in their mailbox. I made the artist, Marcella Suller, sign the postcards before I sent them out. These were actually part of the first batch of the #PostcardsFromVinz project.

2. Strange Natives

I met the creator of the story, Paolo Herras, and he introduced the comic books featured on their table by genre. Other than Kikomachine and News Hardcore, I wasn't familiar with any other Filipino comics so I asked Paolo to help me pick a story. What interested me the most was about a boy whose eyes were turned into Capiz. It really had a folk story feel to it, its narrative and art uncannily striking and dark.

3. Cover Artist EP

Following the month's theme, Joseph Yap showed his own interpretations and associations of different Pinoy bands and their songs through his photographs. I chose Gitara by Parokya ni Edgar and the original print was housed with a blank CD that you can basically use for anything.

4. Vintage Kodak Instamatic X-15

This particular camera was produced in the 1970's and was pulled out in the market by 1988. Before buying a vintage camera, make sure you research about it.

This model uses an almost obsolete 126 film (and cartridge), which is difficult to find even in the camera haven of Hidalgo, Quiapo. The processing of photos using this film isn't that practical too, as it tends to be really pricey anywhere you go.

This camera is still fully functional and can be used by modifying a 126 film cartridge with an ever-trusty 35mm film. But the post-processed photos would contain the sprock holes which adds a bit of design and a vintage pulse.

5. Bargain books

Wrapped in Manila paper, one really cannot judge the book by its cover. The price of the books that were sold in this stall ranged from 20-25 pesos only. I plan to use these for blackout poetry.

6. Notebook

It had the lyrics of my favorite Eraserheads song, 'Pare Ko,' how could I not buy it?

7. Stickers

Diyalogo stickers obviously bank on words that are distinctly Pinoy and are often used in everyday conversations by this generation. Graphic design and calligraphy mixed with language that 98B's audience can easily relate to makes it real easy to decide which stickers you want to bring home.

Many young people travel to Manila to experience the art fair and meet the diversity of personalities and talent of the city's budding artists and writers. For three years the 98B Collaboratory Future Market creates a hub for artistic interaction, and an initiative to promote the arts and its appreciation to the younger generation.

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