Now Reading
How meditating to Crwn’s music led Paraluman Flora to create an ethereal floral installation

How meditating to Crwn’s music led Paraluman Flora to create an ethereal floral installation

Avatar photo
  • Floral artist and designer Kim Francisco on infusing a kind of liveliness into her masterpieces, the value of community-building and collaboration, and why music will always have a special place in her work
paraluman flora installation crwn seance

Paraluman Flora is a one-woman team led by Kim Francisco, who grew up in Canada before moving back to Manila last year to continue her practice of creating otherworldly floral installations. 

One of her first projects upon her return is a multisensory exhibit together with Roomi Mushrooms, where she “reimagined the symbiotic dance of flora and funga enduring in the heart of urban landscape,” a fitting introduction to Paraluman’s ethos. While traditional floral arrangements tend to be static, Francisco’s creations have a tangible quality of being “alive.”

“When creating a set, or in this case, an environment, I can’t have things feeling static, and very much embrace imperfection,” she says. “I very much emphasize movement in my work.”

“A Part or Apart?” installation with Roomi Mushrooms. Photo from Kim Francisco

It’s no wonder, she’s the go-to floral artist and designer of a few of Manila’s most dynamic brands and artists. 

Partnering with movement platform Fifth Wall Fest last year, she brought to life a wearable floral Filipiniana made of dendrobiums, anthuriums, and other tropical blooms that dancer and festival founder Madge Reyes wore while doing a performance piece called “Bulaklakaw.”

She also did a “live floral installation” piece earlier this year for Transit Records, where guests were invited to collaborate with her by inserting flowers along forms artfully strewn in one corner of Annex House. And most recently, Francisco teamed up with the people behind record label Pool Records as well as other creatives for the launch of artist King Puentespina aka Crwn’s debut album Séance at Nokal.

Artist Crwn at his debut album launch with floral installation by Paraluman Flora. Photo by Ricardo Yan

There, she built seemingly transplanted tree branches that gracefully acquiesced to gravity, dripping with amaranthus that mimicked the slow drip of melting candle wax, and replete with delicate white dendrobiums and sea lavenders.

In this interview, Kim Francisco talks about rekindling her love for music through this collaboration, unlearning her individualistic upbringing in the west through working with Manila’s creative communities, and integrating flora into every space possible.

Hi Kim! Just saw your ad campaign for a lifestyle clothing brand and I must say, they really captured you in your natural habitat. Is that in Dangwa?

Yes, we filmed in Dangwa! It was funny, vendors thought it was for our YouTube channel. 

Also, I’m not over your installation for Crwn’s album launch, which brings us here. How did that happen? Who were you in talks with for that and what was the initial brief?

It came about when I was having lunch at King Puentespina aka Crwn’s place with him and Ada Laud. He loves flora (and grew up around it!) and wanted it to be a part of his launch party. Then I finally met the rest of the team: Mike Parker, Anica Olympia, Ram Alonzo, Clara Cayosa, and Alfred Marasigan, and conceptualized with them. They really trusted me and my work for this and didn’t give any specific requests and brief beside the word “overgrown” so I ran with that word.

When I moved back to Manila after 17 years in Toronto, I was afraid I had to do everything on my own again. But I’m so, so, so lucky to have found people who also value community just as much.

I’ve read in a profile that a crucial part of your creative process is considering what’s available and that means going on trips to Dangwa. For this project, can you detail the flowers and other pieces you had to source?

I wanted to use mostly foraged materials for this to really replicate the overgrown feel. Luckily, I have big trees in my backyard so I got all the greens from there. Then Anica foraged the branches in her yard. The rest was purchased from Dangwa. I chose preserved amaranthus to mimic melted candle wax, limonium for texture, and orchids for sentimentality. King grew up around flora because his family had a flower shop and farm. He requested orchids for his album shoot, so I wanted to bring that into the installation, too.

Photo by Kim Francisco

There’s always a quality of “liveliness” in your work—as if the plants are “transplanted” from their natural habitat without force, without disturbance to exist in another environment different from their original home. And that speaks more about your design process than the plant’s actual state. I want to know how you translate that kind of liveliness to this installation, especially while working with isolated environments such as a nightclub.

Wow, thanks for noticing the effort I put into making things look alive. I very much emphasize movement in my work. Especially when creating a set, or in this case, an environment. I can’t have things feeling static, and very much embrace imperfection. Traditional floral design feels very stiff and too perfect, but that’s not how nature is. And since we wanted things to feel “overgrown” (while still very much practicing intentional design), I wanted to make sure it felt natural and flowy. For Crwn’s party, I wanted things to feel like it’s dripping down or falling off. That’s why on the candelabra, the flowers started on the top left and dripped down towards the bottom right. This also made more sense for the candle drippings made by the amaranthus. 

My goal for Paraluman was always to bring flora into every space possible, may that be fashion, food, or music.

Kim Francisco

In your post after Crwn’s album launch, you said that doing that project for the event also felt like coming back to your love for music after quitting some years ago; how flowers are somehow related to the work of music-making. That’s interesting—going back to my hypothesis about the liveliness of your work—when flowers are still objects and music is something often associated with varying levels of movement. So two questions: Can you briefly go through this aborted passion of yours for music? And, what did that ideation process, of relating your work to Crwn’s new music (if it was at all the intention), entail?

I used to work for a record label and artist management company in Toronto where I’m from. I was working in the marketing department helping create campaigns whenever we had a new album coming out. I loved my work but resented how music started to feel too much of a job than something I simply loved. Also, being a 19-year old Asian woman in an industry ran by 40-year old white men was just never going to feel right for me, so I left.

That said, my goal for Paraluman was always to bring flora into every space possible, may that be fashion, food, or music. Not a lot of shows in Toronto were putting effort into set design, so I was very excited to see that the Manila music and nightlife scene does. 

Before Crwn’s photoshoot, which I did flowers for, he sent me the intro track of the album. I repeatedly listened and meditated to it and just let the ideas flow. He was also playing the tracks while we were installing for the album launch, which helped apply the album’s energy to our work.

Francisco even managed to put together a wall piece from the materials used in making the floral installation at Crwn’s debut album launch. “[It’s] an effort to make it last a little longer.Photo by Kim Francisco

Your work is often rooted in community-building and collaboration. This project for Pool Records and Crwn is no different. How important is that community building and collaboration aspect for you as an artist and being a lone entity in Paraluman Flora?

Growing up in the West, I’ve been taught to be individualistic. I thought I could do everything on my own and was hyper-independent. But as I get older, the more I understand how important community is. Humans are not meant to be alone. We are all one and should move through the world always considering each other. When I moved back to Manila after 17 years in Toronto, I was afraid I had to do everything on my own again. But I’m so, so, so lucky to have found people who also value community just as much. For Crwn’s project, I asked a few friends to work on the installations together. All of them are also friends with Crwn, so in my perspective, it felt like an “act of service” for our friend who’s putting out this incredible body of work, like a little gift for him. I think it made the set feel more special. 

akun Slot88 slot jackpot terbesar situs slot88 terpercaya Slot Paling Gacor Hari Ini slot pulsa Slot Terbaru Gampang Menang jackpot besar di Slot88
situs judi online terpercaya slot online tergacor situs slot gacor catur777 slot online idn poker judi bola sbobet slotgacormaxwin game slot online QQLINE88 3mbola catur777 slot gacor 2024 slot gacor maxwin resmi
Agen Situs Pkv Games Terpercaya slot online
Situs Judi Bola Online situs idn poker idn poker
daftar gambar togel
PROBOLA agen daftar situs judi slot online terpercaya dengan games pragmatic play yang sangat populer
situs slot pulsa