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[Pic Pocket] Poblacion in Full ‘Bloom’

Bloom Arts Festival returns for its fourth year turning Poblacion into a massive gallery captured by photographer Leah de Leon.

Identifying Heroes by Paolo Dumlao is one of the performance art pieces featured at Bloom Arts Festival this year.

It may be on its fourth year, but Bloom Arts Festival is still something of a budding concept. This, at least, is according to Tof Zapanta, the event’s co-founder, and director.

In a recent feature of Manileño, Zapanta said that Bloom has hit several milestones since its launch. It has cemented its identity as a progenitor of simultaneous exhibits featuring “blooming” and established artists, and it has gained a measure of sustainability thanks to its growing following. That being said, however, he believes that it can still be more than what it is today.

“The vision is to have more of a learning festival rather than just a show festival,” Zapanta said in the article. “We’re slowly working towards more of a conference of sorts. Like, we’re inching towards having more workshops, having more talks. We’re still trying to figure it out.”

Nevertheless, Bloom is still a major presence in the art scene today. Since its launch, the festival has become something of a guide to local culture. It is an arts festival, as its name suggests, and by virtue of that, it introduces people to different aesthetics. This year, about 100 artists were featured by the event; there were photographers playing with exposures to capture personal journeys, painters unveiling hypnotic abstractions, a performance artist who allowed people to stick signed cards on his otherwise naked body, and other visual artists sharing their take on the world. But, it’s not just the artists that gain exposure.

Since its first outing, Bloom has been mounting its featured artworks on simultaneous exhibits in different venues that are close to each other. Because of this, it unites communities under one goal while connecting them to its growing following of art enthusiasts. This year, taking cues from its 2017 run, it once again put up exhibits at venues in Poblacion; Dulo MNL, Run Rabbit Run, Kapwa, The Workshop, Yoi, Oto, Pineapple Lab, The Social, Lokal and Commune all became makeshift galleries for three days this year and found themselves at the go-to list of event’s attendees.

All things considered, whenever Bloom unfolds, its stakeholders blossom with it. And photographer Leah De Leon was able to capture with her lens during the festival’s first day this year.

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