Artists paint for cleaner air

June 17, 2011

MANILA, Philippines - Air pollution in the Metro Manila is partly responsible for the deaths of 14 people everyday. But based on a study conducted by the World Bank and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, these deaths could have been prevented if only the air was cleaner.

In the pursuit of cleaner air, BOYSEN® Paints launched the world’s first large scale public art project – The EDSA Project. Comprised of 8 large-scale art projects covering 1,000 sq. m. each, these will be made using paints that can clean noxious air pollutants and will cover MRT pylons and station walls along EDSA.

Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) contributes to a variety of respiratory health problems — asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, lung tissue damage, and reduction of lung capacity. The primary producers of these emissions are vehicles. Based on studies, the average 24-hour NO2 level along EDSA is over 4½  times the health limit set by the World Health Organization. During days with a higher volume of traffic, the level rises to over 7 times the limit.

Using the world’s first air cleaning paint KNOxOUT™ with CristalActiv photocatalytic technology, The EDSA Project is BOYSEN®’s effort to promote urban renewal by neutralizing the NO2 emissions of 10 cars per square meter painted.

The first of the murals was unveiled last May 7, 2011 by artist Jose Tence Ruiz on the walls of Barangay San Lorenzo in Makati City.

“We chose Jose Tence Ruiz because of his advocacy for a cleaner environment,” says Johnson Ongking, vice president of BOYSEN® Paints. ”His artwork will not only beautify the environment around EDSA, Makati, but will also help clean the air as well.”

Jose Tence Ruiz is a multi-awarded local artist with over 30 years of experience in various multi-media visual activities, from set design, book illustrations, art advocacy, sculpture, and installations.

His EDSA Project artwork dubbed “Ganap” presents a new perspective on how to help the environment – through technology. On the Barangay San Lorenzo walls facing EDSA, Ruiz painted colorful flora and sea creatures. Beside the fractal-art pieces, he painted a computer key that says “Enter.”

“This is the first public artwork that goes beyond beautifying and into purifying,” Ongking added. “This is where art meets science – through the renewal of EDSA using globally innovative technology to clean the air.”

Through The EDSA Project, it is clear that not only artists benefit from KNOxOUT™ but also homebuilders. “We would like to provide homebuilders with the latest eco-paints available,” Ongking explains. “This, we believe, will help them become more environmentally responsible and become contributors to a greener Philippines.”
- Courtesy of The Philippine Star (June 17, 2011) and Manila Bulletin (June 26, 2011)