Half Empty, Since 1998

Artist statement by designers Jois Tai and Rex Advincula

Meet The Centerfold, Inksurge

Inksurge. April 7th, 2004

Art by Inksurge

Being Filipino affects our work in a way; sometimes we squeeze ideas out of what we see around us. We wanted to tell something about Filipinos but not in a very obvious way. Probably when some people from around the world who knew some Filipino or the Filipinos themselves who look at this artwork, they will be able to relate to it and give it a smile.

We use a lot of logos and symbols in our work. Logos of fast food places are icons because you see them everywhere here. We personally knew them since birth. Then there is the coffee, which serves as the fuel for the creative mind of ours. The images included in the piece we did for Half Empty are some of the things that you will find out once you visit our tropical island. The jeepney is the most used public transportation here in the metro. It can carry a minimum of 20 passengers (depending on the length of the body type) and you can overload it to 35 (seen on the jeepneys in provinces, loading it up from the inside to the roof of the vehicle).

There’s no graff scene here at all or if there’s any its too little to count. We think of it more of vandalism and no art involved with it. Self expression on the side of the bridge, inside the bathroom cubicles, seats inside the bus are filled with vandalism. But we find some of the scribbles there interesting, funny messages that often results in a thread, like there is one writing looking for friends, so it was written behind a seat of the bus using a black marker. I saw that marking without any replies but there was one time I rode the same bus and looked for that seat (thinking that the operators erased it) but yey, tons of replies from cellphone numbers to names.

After spending sometimes hours exploring the Internet, we see what is the current trend happening on the design side of the WWW. Well, we don’t want to go with the flow, we just do what we enjoy and express it with our works.

In my experience of working in a corporate world, I think the web here is just starting and it still needs to mature and expose the clients to what the web can really do. Inksurge was born out of frustration of coming up with new ideas and experiments that can’t be contained anywhere except for Inksurge.

The community here is slowly growing, but still needs a lot of work to do in order for it to be called "tight-knit". The only organization we know that is taking its toll to gather all designers here is Philweavers founded by Jose Illenberger and Drew Europeo.

(Included in Half Empty #2)