ESCAPE 2016: ILOVEYOU Virus art exhibit

This is a press release from 98B COLLABoratory

MANILA, Philippines – 98B COLLABoratory (98B) mounts its first bi-annual exhibition entitled ESCAPE that will run from February 13 - 21, 2016. It will mainly be situated at the ground floor of the First United Building in Escolta, Manila with other activities happening along the street like the Panpisco Building and the Escolta Ferry Station. 

Ushering the 21st century was the emergence of the “ILoveYou” virus which was also known as the “Love Letter” and “LoveBug.” Unbeknownst to many, this computer malware was created by Filipinos; originating from a small neighborhood at the heart of Manila. It spread worldwide and created a lot of damage in the process. Viruses have other iterations in various subjects and domains like biology, marketing and communication. We have taken these convergences and divergences in order to explore how the idea of an organism can embed itself in a host in order to replicate itself and at times mutate. Can art and creativity be such an organism? 

Prior to its current form, ESCAPE began as ESC Projects, a parallel event with 98B’s monthly Saturday market in Escolta, Manila. Essentially, “ESCape Projects deal with spatial negotiations, transformations and interventions. It revolves around particular locations, contexts and renditions—whether as flights of the imagination or discharges of the creative spirit. ESCape artists are given the freedom to conceive and visualize new landscapes. To ESCape is to create a 1 day project, a 1 day show, a 1 day exhibition. It is an experimental platform.” It is from this incubator that the notion evolved ESC Projects into ESCAPE, a biannual exhibition that will run for a week

For 2016, the theme for ESCAPE revolves around the various recapitulations of the “virus.” It will feature local and international artists, artworks and projects that will work around the theme’s different layers. Distinct viral facets from social, cultural, aesthetic to political representations that have critical and experiential exponents are to be showcased. Aside from the exhibition, ESCAPE 2016: ILOVEYOU Virus will also have the following activities:


SPAM is a collection of videos selected from an online open call. These moving images react to the “virus.” This video screening complements the other works in the ESCAPE: ILOVEYOU VIRUS exhibition.


STREAM is the instructive component of ESCAPE: ILOVEYOU Virus. Artist talks, presentations of key speakers and signifi- cant exchanges are scheduled to give light to meaningful discussions. 

ESCAPE with us and help us spread the bug to involve, respond, alter and infuse others with the desire to create.



MARIKA CONSTANTINO – Marika is a visual artist who has participated in significant exhibitions in the Philippines and abroad. As a freelance writer, she contributes to a number of globally distributed publications. She shares her various experiences in the art practice to a wider audience as an educator and an independent curator. Her early exposure to art and her boundless fascination for the creative process resulted with a degree from the UP College of Architecture to further studies at the UP College of Fine Arts, with Art History as her major. Constantino is continually striving to strike the balance between the cerebral, conceptual and experiential aspects of art with life in general, thus, fueling her fervent passion for artistic endeavors. Currently, aside from her individual art practice, she is busy co-directing the programs and activities of 98B COLLABoratory (Executive Director) and the First United Building Community Museum (Curator). 

MAYUMI HIRANO – Mayumi graduated from Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (NY, USA). She was part of the curatorial staff for Yokohama Triennale, 2005 and was a researcher for the Asia Art Archive. From 2008 to 2013, she planned, coordinated and organized the art festival Koganecho Bazaar and also curated the international Artist-in-Residence program in Koganecho, Yokohama, Japan. As a Nippon Foundation API Fellow, Hirano is currently researching about artist collectives in the Philippines and Thailand. 

J PACENA – J graduated with a degree of Fine Arts at the University of Sto. Tomas. He is a multimedia artist, an independent curator and a teacher. As a visual artist, he has participated in solo and group exhibitions both locally and abroad; and his curatorial projects have extended from Manila, to Japan and Australia. He is an awardwinning director of music videos for local artists in the Philippines and has artdirected several educational videos for museums. In 2010, he was a grantee of the Jenesys Programme for Creators sponsored by the Japan Foundation. He represented the Philippines in the Travel Study Tour and Symposiums of the Asahi Art Festival Worldwide Network in Japan in 2011. He started a curatorial project entitled “Bliss Market” last 2012 and is currently writing the 1st phase of the project in a catalogue form. He is a member of Tutok Artist Collective, an organization that advocates human rights and he is an industry professor and Creative Director of an independent group called BMLab, which he also founded.

MARK SALVATUS – Mark is a visual artist living and working between Manila, Philippines and Osaka, Japan. He graduated cum laude at the University of Santo Tomas College of Fine Arts and Design Manila with a degree in Advertising Arts. He is a recipient of the 13 Artists Award from the Cultural Center of the Philippines (2012) and Ateneo Art Awards (2010). Mark is also the co-founder of Pilipinas Street Plan, a community of street artists based in Manila and in 2012 he cofounded and the current Artistic Director of 98B COLLABoratory, a multi-disciplinary site for creative sharing, discussion and collaboration. He has participated in international biennales and triennales including Singapore, Guangzhou, Jakarta and Honolulu


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What is 98B?

98B COLLABoratory is a multi-disciplinary artist-run initiative and multi-functional space in Manila, Philippines. We are a community + network + library + kitchen + shop. The idea is to have a setting where artists and creative individuals from other disciplines can interact and work together while presenting art, design and creativity in different ways; be it a talk, a bazaar, a publication, a meal or a simple gathering. It is a laboratory that seeks to establish a convergence with artists, designers, curators, writers, musicians, film makers, activists, educators, researchers, cultural workers, performers, architects and students together with the general public.

98B was established in January 2012 by Mark Salvatus (visual artist) and Mayumi Hirano (curator and researcher) as a response to the need for alternative venues in Manila. July of 2012 provided us with an opportune playground to frolic in – Escolta, Manila. Together with its founders, Anjo Bolarda (visual artist and illustrator), Marika Constantino (visual artist and curator) and Gabriel Villegas (magazine art director) direct 98B’s various programs and activities towards creative sharing, discussion and collaboration. The current 98B Team is run by its five Directors and five active members. Release