JEFRE is the first artist to work with SM Prime
Jefre Manuel Figueras, who goes by the name JEFRË, has been commissioned by property giant and The Philippines’ largest mall developer, SM Prime Holdings, to create four sculptures at upscale shopping mall in Manila, SM Aura. JEFRE is the first artist to have worked with SM Prime. The sculpture series opened to the public in December 2015.
This is the first time SM Prime has commissioned an artist to create a public artwork. Titled Contour Sculpture Series, the works are located at various locations at SM Aura. The works are inspired by the stacked architectural ribbons and fluid interior spaces of the mall that resemble the tiered and striated hillsides of The Philippines’ iconic rice terraces. The sculptures stand tall at five to six meters and are made from colorful ribbon-like strips of metal that are layered one on top of the other to create a contoured effect. These works take the form of four culturally symbolic animals: the eagle, the carabao, the rooster, and the tarsier. The effect of these layers is striking because as the perspective and position of the viewer changes, the sculpture reveals itself as it morphs into the full shape of the animal.
The eagle, painted yellow, is an endangered species and a symbol of conservation and hope. The carabao, painted red, is the national animal of The Philippines and represents hard work and strength while the rooster, painted blue, a popular farm animal in The Philippines, is symbolic of pride and vibrancy. The Philippine tarsier, painted green, is an enduring and instantly recognizable symbol of the Philippine islands.
Florida-based JEFRË is ethnically Filipino and a noted public artist. He has constructed several site-specific artworks in cities around the world including London, Miami, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Abu Dhabi, and San Antonio. As a designer and public art initiator, his design solutions originate from a deep understanding of the historical, environmental, social and contextual relationships influencing the site and the architecture. “It was important to me as an artist to integrate a series of visitor destinations that define each public space and enhance the overall shopping experience. The design concept of ‘the mall’ in the Philippines is similar to a public park or civic square. I wanted to create cultural moments within that are extensions of both the architecture and the country’s heritage.”
JEFRË studied at the Art Institute of Chicago prior to receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from Ohio State University. He has constructed several site-specific artworks in cities around the world including London, Miami, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Abu Dhabi, San Antonio, and most recently Manila. JEFRË was named one of seven "Faces of Design for 2007" by Florida Inside Out architecture magazine for his environmental art and couture landscapes. As a designer and public art initiator, his design solutions originate from a deep understanding of the historical, environmental, social and contextual relationships influencing the site and the architecture. In 2008, JEFRË launched his own couture landscape and public art studio with a focus on environmental art, green roofs, boutique plazas and parks and public art master plans. He was selected by the prestigious Marlborough Gallery in New York City as an “Up and Coming International Public Artist” and chosen by the Lexus Corporation to be the sixth member of their ECO Hybrid Living National Design Team to design environmental conscious carbon neutral environments. JEFRË is passionate about sharing his public art initiative through his line of new interactive designs and upcoming public art projects.
About SM Prime Holdings
In 2013, SM Group consolidated the real estate subsidiaries and real estate assets under one single listed entity, SM Prime Holdings, Inc. Today, SM Prime is one of the largest integrated property developers in Southeast Asia that offers innovative and sustainable lifestyle cities with the development of malls, residences, offices, hotels, and convention centers. It is the largest property developer in terms of asset and income base as of end 2013 in the Philippines. Being an integrated property developer, SM Prime goes beyond mall development and management. The residential business component comes from its subsidiary, SM Development Corporation (SMDC) that sells affordable condominium units. SM Prime’s commercial business unit, the Commercial Property Group (CPG) is engaged in the development and leasing of office buildings in Metro Manila, as well as the operations and management of buildings and other land holdings such as the Mall of Asia Arena (MOA Arena). Its hotels and convention centers business unit develops and manages various hotel and convention centers across the country.
Susan Grant Lewin Associates
New York, New York