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Youthful Hopes and Longings: A Correspondence with Artist Community Shelved Wishes

Founded by a group of five young artists — Raine Sarmiento, Borg Sinaban, Rex Dasig Aguilar, Kevin Roque, and Sab Palmares — Shelved Wishes is an “art community that aims to discover and promote fresh and skilled Filipino artists to inspire a creative lifestyle”.

The name of their community, Shelved Wishes, was derived from their inaugural collaborative project, soft-launched in an art event in Tagaytay City this year. The project involved the creation of pieces relating to their childhood dreams that may have been shelved for now. These works were then reproduced into postcards for wider distribution.

Through their works, the community Shelved Wishes dwells into the subject of longing, passion, and ‘what-ifs’–things prominent in this age, and in the generation that they are a part of. Coming from the millenial generation known for heavy virtual presence among others, they hope to bring their generation into realizing that “our country is also rich in its source of unique and creative inspiration offline”. Starting their community online, where majority of their target audience is, they aim to implement projects and activities involving art objects and physical collaborations in the near future. 

The group expounded on the reason on converting their works into postcard format, and on the role of them being in the millenial generation, in a quick email interview with ManilaArtScene:

MAS [ManilaArtScene]: Since you consider your group as part of the millenial group, does SW have some message to relay to this particular group?

SW [Shelved Wishes]: We’ve learned from a statistics website that the majority of social media’s audience are millenials, and our group would like to introduce young Filipino artists who aren’t “trending” on this particular group’s feeds.

A lot of the youth today would spend most of their time scrolling through their phone’s screens, because it’s the easiest and most entertaining way to get information. They would base their research mainly on what’s being fed to them by the social media; as a result, they’re missing a lot of other information, which are available in the real world.

The youth would prefer to visit an exhibit which is prepared by an artist that they’ve found trending, rather than visiting the ones that are prepared by an award winning artist who has represented the country multiple times in the real world—without them knowing it.

The result? The qualities of the artworks that are being made today, and may continue being made in the future, are limited to the standards that the trending artists have set. You might notice the repetition in subjects that most young practicing artists do today.

Our group is not against that in any way, we would only like to remind the millenials that our country is also rich in its source of inspiration with regards to subject in art, offline.

MAS: Aside from being artists, what binds all of the members of SW together? Is there a common denominator?

SW: All five of us are members of another art group, called Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK).

MAS: What is the reason behind making print versions (such as the postcards) of your artworks?

SW: We’d like to reach people in the real world as well, so we’ve come up with real objects where we can share SW’s message. We’d like to make them affordable to the youth, so we started with postcards.

MAS: Do you have upcoming exhibitions or projects following the soft launch of your first collaborative project?

 SW: We’re planning to release two more batches of postcards, which will feature more undiscovered by the Internet young Filipino artists. We’ll also be holding art workshops, which will start on August, as fund raising activities for an art book, and an exhibit next year.

Here are some sample artworks from the individual artists’ portfolio:

Raine Sarmiento

Borg Sinaban

Rex Dasig Aguilar

Kevin Roque

Sab Palmares

Shelved Wishes may be reached through shelvedwishes@gmail.com.

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