SM Aura Unveils Art and Food Walking Tour That Features Contemporary Filipino Artists

Explore contemporary art and culinary creativity like never before as chef and food writer Angelo Comsti brings together a feast for the senses withLife as we know it’, an art and food walking tour at SM Aura ongoing until July 14, 2024. 

More than a destination for extraordinary shopping and dining experiences, SM Aura continues to delight by reinventing urban art spaces with initiatives to promote greater accessibility and appreciation for art. Curated by Comsti, the art and food walking tour features seven contemporary Filipino artists: Joshua Limon Palisoc, Michael Sagaran, Vincent Diñoso, Bryant William Cuison, Belle Dinglasa, Jefre Figueras Manuel, and Archie Oclos.

Sm Aura Life as we know it

Curated by chef and food writer Angelo Comsti (second from right), the ‘Life as we know it’ art and food walking tour at SM Aura features works by renowned contemporary Filipino artists and art-inspired culinary delights. Shown in photo with Comsti are artists (from left) Michael Sagaran, Bryant William Cuison, Belle Dinglasa, Joshua Limon Palisoc, Vincent Diñoso.

Located in various spaces around the mall, the works depict a slice of everyday life – be it a particular moment in history, a daily chore, key society figures, or the evolution of gender identities. For a thoroughly immersive experience, five off-the-menu specialties inspired by the artworks have been created by the mall’s restaurants and cafes: Gelato by Chef Miko, Puffy’s Soufflé Pancake Café, Teakha, Lé Chon Prime, and Yardstick Coffee.  

Sm Aura Life as we know it

Sculptor and visual artist Joshua Limon Palisoc and his Sa Bingit ng Pagbabagong Anyo ng Diwata at the mall’s Upper Ground Level Main Entrance 1.

Sculptor and visual artist Joshua Limon Palisoc’s Sa Bingit ng Pagbabagong Anyo ng Diwata portrays Diwata as a spirit of nature epitomizing courage, freedom, and a boundless capacity to transform. Made with stainless steel, LED lighting, and found objects, its oneness with nature is manifested by a half-man, half-woman body adorned by animal features like fins, wings, and horns. It holds up a Bahagharing Ahas (Rainbow Snake), a potent symbol of healing and rebirth, with the rainbow connecting worlds, differences, and genders. Enjoy a heavenly scoop of fior di latte gelato topped with colorful hundreds and thousands sprinkles and candy bits inspired by Palisoc’s work at Gelato by Chef Miko. 

Michael Sagaran’s Taal Volcano 2020 Erupting immortalizes the historic Taal Volcano eruption, which the artist witnessed firsthand. Capturing the power and beauty of nature with acrylic on canvas, Sagaran’s work is also symbolic of the cycle of life, with its seasons of challenges and triumphs. An exquisite strawberry mochi souffle pancake representing the unpredictable yet awe-inspiring majesty of a volcanic eruption, and indeed of life, has been specially created by Puffy’s Soufflé Pancake Café. 

Sm Aura Life as we know it

Emotion through Motion by entrepreneur turned visual artist Vincent Diñoso at the Meeting Pods on Level 3, SM Aura.

Emotion through Motion by Vincent Diñoso is an engaging, two-sided painting on gauze that depicts the motion of the human body to evoke a sense of emotion. Utilizing layers of the delicate and translucent medium of gauze, the artist deftly explores the intricacies of human movement to capture the fleeting and multifaceted nature of human life, the interplay between joy and melancholy, strength and fragility. Lé Chon Prime deliciously captures the essence of Diñoso’s artwork with their Lechon Porchetta Bao made of a fluffy white bao bun, porchetta slice, fresh vegetables, and original sauces. This innovative dish is a fusion of Filipino, French, and Chinese flavors, and just like the artwork, which is made of multi-layered gauze, the dish is also made of layers of different flavors and textures. 

Abstract artist and contractor Bryant William Cuison’s Resonance features a series of circles resembling the view through a door peephole. Each circle offers a glimpse into a different possibility, a different perspective, inviting viewers to think about the many options in their own lives, the power of choice, and to imagine what lies beyond the threshold. Teakha’s sweet and sour prawn balls with tofu takes its culinary inspiration from Cuison’s work with the contrasting flavors of sweet and sour mirroring different perspectives all in a beautiful blend of possibilities. 

Sm Aura Life as we know it

Azucarera by Belle Dinglasa at the mall’s Southside Escalator Landing on Level 3.

Azucarera, a photograph in black and white by Belle Dinglasa, features Lolo Melchor, the artist’s late grandfather, who kept a post as a maintenance worker in a sugar milling company in Talisay, Negros Occidental in the 1960s. His primary job was to make sure that the train used to transport the harvested sugarcanes, also known as tubo, into the processing plant was always in tip-top shape. The juice extracted from the sugarcanes was boiled and the residue that remained was then called muscovado sugar. Hence, Negros Occidental, where this shot was taken, is popularly known as the sugar capital of the Philippines. Yardstick Coffee’s secret menu concoction, Monochrome, is a café latte with activated charcoal capped with sea salt foam inspired by Azucarera

Sm Aura Life as we know it

Tarsier by JEFRË at SM Aura’s Upper Ground Level Main Entrance 2.

The tour also invites participants to rediscover gems in SM Aura’s permanent collection by internationally acclaimed Fil-Am artist Jefre Figueras Manuel also known asJEFRË”. HisContour Sculpture Seriescomposed of four works at SM Aura is his first sculpture commission in the Philippines. 

JEFRË’s green Tarsier installation welcomes shoppers at the mall’s entrance 2, while his other sculptural installations include the endangered Philippine eagle at the mall courtyard, while the red carabao and blue rooster can be found at the mall’s Skypark and chapel garden, respectively. 

In addition to JEFRË’s works are a number of murals along the mall’s Grand Staircase. One of the tour’s featured artists is Archie Oclos, whose works celebrate the country’s national treasures, iconic Filipina women Lang Dulay, the T’nalak weaving master of the T’boli cloth, and Apo Whang Od, the legendary hand tap tattoo artist of Kalinga’s Last Mam-babatok

Register forLife as we know it’, an art and food tour at SM Aura via the SM Malls Online mobile app for a free DIY tour of the artworks and art-inspired dishes.