"Dead Whale" Art Installation Washes Ashore Near Manila Bay
In the summer of 2017, a 50-foot "dead whale" with tons of plastic in its mouth was seen along the shores of Naic, Cavite. It was an art installation by Biboy Royong, but it's not too far from reality since the project was inspired by a 38-foot juvenile sperm whale that washed ashore on Samal Island in Davao del Norte in 2016. The marine creature died because of plastic waste lodged in its stomach. Now, the Cultural Center of the Philippines hopes to bring the message closer to home with a similar art installation, on display right on its front lawn until May 31.
"Cry of the Dead," as it is called, is a massive whale-like sculpture made from plastic bags, bottles, and other kinds of waste found washed up on beaches around the Philippines. It couldn't be more apt that the piece is displayed near Manila Bay, which is notorious for the tons of trash found in its waters every year.
While the first installation was based on the tragic incident in Davao del Norte, the second one was his response to the story of a male Cuvier's Beaked Whale that was found dead on the shores of Mabini, Compostela Valley, on March 15. Marine biologist and environmentalist Darrell Blatchley said that the creature was vomiting blood before it died. Necropsy later revealed that about 40 kilos of "rice sacks, grocery bags, banana plantation bags, and general plastic bags" were found in its stomach.
"The installation is our statement for eARTh Month," Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Artistic Director Chris Millado tells SPOT.ph. eArth Month is the cultural institution's way of raising awareness about environmental preservation through art. When the CCP saw the "dead whale" installation in Cavite, they knew that the Dentsu Jayme Syfu creative director was the right man for the job.
"I proposed [that we replicate] the 'dead whale' and they approved it," Royong shares. The previous piece was Dentsu Jayme Syfu's creative campaign for Greenpeace Philippines. "With [their] permission I was able to bring this here," the artist adds.
Now that the "dead whale" is found along a busy road in Metro Manila, the CCP and Royong are hoping that it will convince everyone to stop littering once and for all.
“Cry of the Dead” is on display at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ front lawn until May 31, 2019. For more information, visit CCP’s website.
*This article originally appeared on Spot.ph
*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors