Francisco Diaz aka Pastel recently spent some time in Manila, Philippines, participating in the second edition of the LeBasse Projects curated and produced artBGC mural festival, creating one of his largest floral murals to date. Titled Calamansi and Sampaguita, the piece is based on ancient local traditions, depicting the plants that have a local symbolism. Calamansi is a plant used during funerals as way of purify the body, while the national flower, Sampaguita, represents humility and reverence, and it’s the flower that young kids sell on the streets just to survive. Enlarging his illustrative style to such massive scale and placing the main image in the middle of a large black negative space, the Argentinean artist achieved a great effect with this work. Juxtaposing the simple plant composition in warm earth tones, against the concrete buildings and the grayness of the urban environment, Pastel speaks about the change of values within a society. The Philippines has been invaded by many different countries since 1565, so it is constantly trying to preserve its native traditions – the Calamansi and Sampaguita are symbols of such efforts.

Discuss Pastel here.