Apr 29, 2019

Two years ago, an artist faked the death of a whale “to send a real message” to the Filipinos.

It was actually a 73 ft.-long art installation made and full of plastic waste. It was set up on the shores of Naic, Cavite, which is part of the polluted Manila Bay.

nolisoli be fixture pasig river dead whale art installation
“Dead Whale” in Naic, Cavite. Photo courtesy of Lyn Rillon for Philippine Daily Inquirer

“Our objective was to surprise people around the area, and at the same time raise awareness on the dangers of throwing plastics into the ocean,” says Biboy Royong, the proponent and Creative Director of the “Dead Whale,” on an interview with Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

nolisoli dead whale ccp
Photo courtesy of Biboy Royong

The installation, which was displayed for only three days, spread like wildfire online; it reached more than a hundred countries and won awards from notable award-giving bodies in the advertising industry like Cannes Lions.

Now, it’s on the front lawn of CCP: grim in the daylight, spine-chilling in the nightfall. CCP invited Royong to mount an exhibit for the 2019 Earth Day Celebration and this time, the 78 ft.-long and 10 ft.-high sculpture he set up is called “Cry of the Dead Whale.” What makes it different from the one in Naic? It’s pregnant with a dead baby whale.

nolisoli dead whale ccp
Photo courtesy of Biboy Royong

It’s a “representation of the millennials—the generation that will inherit the future of our oceans. It is both a statement and a question… [that] aims to jumpstart discussions on whether [the future generations] would still get to enjoy or experience the wonders of the ocean,” says Royong. It was also inspired by the pregnant dead whale found in Italy in early April.

nolisoli dead whale ccp
Photo courtesy of Biboy Royong

The “Cry of the Dead Whale” is on display at the CCP Lawn until May 6. We hope that this appeal not only to every individual but also to big corporations, that literally manufacture single-use plastic and has the power to control its production, and to the government, that regulates its use.

Royong also wishes that “a longer period of time will give more people a chance to experience what it might feel like to encounter or be confronted by a decomposing whale victimized by the increasing presence of plastic in our oceans.”


Read more:

Cotton totes aren’t the be-all end-all solution to eliminating plastic waste

Actor Pepe Herrera shows the plastic-sunken state of Freedom Island

Roads made of recycled plastic to be built soon in the PH

Read more by Yazhmin Malajito:

Farm to fashion: How regenerative agriculture makes fashion sustainable

Can balls of mud save the Pasig River?

New sustainable store Loop. opens in Quezon City

TAGS: Cultural Center of the Philippines dead whale greenpeace philippines