Japanese artist offers to rename a Quezon City dumpsite, help save the environment Friday, 2 January 2015

Naming a pile of garbage may seem like an odd thing to do, but for Japanese artist Yoshinori Niwa, it’s one way to make everyone aware of social and environmental issues.

The 32-year-old Niwa, whose multimedia performance and installation artworks — “social and historical interventions” — have been on display in countries such as Russia, Romania, Germany, and his native Japan, has chosen the Philippines for his next work. Titled “Selling the Right to Name a Pile of Garbage,” he is actually selling the rights to temporarily rename WACUMAN Inc. Sanitary Landfill in Novaliches.

Interested buyers may bid via text, landline, Facebook message, and through his website. As of December 25, 2014, the highest bidding price is P4,600.

The artist as capitalist

“Selling the Right to Name a Pile of Garbage” is part of “Terms x Agreements,” an exhibit curated by local artist Merv Espina that, in turn, is part of discursive project “Holdings.” It is structured like a holding company, with the curator as manager and CEO and the artists selling real goods and services.

“Holdings is one of four curatorial projects that comprise Forces at Work,” said Espina in an email interview. “Supported by the UP Vargas Museum and Japan Foundation, Forces at Work runs from December 2, 2014 to January 28, 2015.

“Holdings hopes to contribute to the many discussions of art and economics in the Philippines, but in a way that will hopefully propel certain the issues and questions forward.

“What the audience can see in the Vargas Museum for the duration of the exhibition are the actual artists at work in their office and work spaces. For Niwa, there’s his third floor director’s office and the ground floor information kiosk for Selling the Right to Name a Pile of Garbage (Tue and Thu, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).”

Niwa and Espina met through common friends in Busan, South Korea in 2011 and have kept in touch ever since. He wanted to include more artists in the exhibit, but eventually limited the number to just two (Niwa and local artist group WAG), due to logistical constraints.

When asked about the proceeds of the sale, Espina replied that they did not want to dictate to either the landfill owner or the buyer where the money would go, preferring to focus on the act of selling the naming rights, although he did mention that WACUMAN provided the charity aspect.

“If we focused on this, then the project would have the tendency to just be a mere charity stunt,” said Espina.

“Holdings” is accepting bids via email, website, Facebook, phone or in person until 5 p.m. on January 13, 2015. —JST, GMA News

Taken from, read full article at


Category Archive:

Monthly Archive:

Download Wacuman Company Profile