Art installations by int'l artist Leeroy New to be refurbished for "Himala sa Buhangin!" 2016


May. 05, 2016 ...

In preparation for the Himala sa Buhangin! Art and Music Festival this May 14, the avant-garde Art Installation Park originally created by internationally renowned contemporary visual artist Leeroy New is undergoing refurbishment.

Himala sa Buhangin! is a highlight of the La Milagrosa Provincial Fiesta honoring La Virgen Milagrosa, Ilocos Norte's patron saint. This year marks the fourth segment of the event, organized by the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN).

"You can’t develop an iconic cultural place in just one year. It has to be cultivated every year. It will eventually become iconic to the place and eventually it will become associated with the Sand Dunes," New had mentioned last year.

His avant-garde installations, with the first one constructed in 2012, make up an interactive sculpture park. "This was the ideal visual art addition to the music festival ambience gracing the vast landscape of the Paoay Sand Dunes," said Elaine Mateo, Ilocos Norte Media Incentives Desk Officer.

Refurbishment has also been providing Ilocano laborers with a job during this period leading up to the festival on May 14.

The Art Installation Park is the only one of its kind in the Southeast Asia, as only two deserts exist in the entire continental region. The other desert is located in the City of Mui Ne, Vietnam.

A grand highlight of the festival is the annual "light-up" of the interactive park in which temporary installations made of repurposed and indigenous materials are set on fire, symbolizing the conclusion of the provincial activity.

According to Governor Imee R. Marcos, this is likened to the Ilocano practice of burning old crops in order to clear a farmland area for a new planting season, thus reflecting a new season of both celebration and hard work for Ilocos Norte.

Complementing the visual art aspect of Himala sa Buhangin! will be a free concert featuring local bands as well as Filipino music artist and band, Gloc9 and Parokya ni Edgar.