98B COLLABoratory is an artist-run initiative and space in Manila, Philippines. We are a community + network + library + kitchen + shop. The idea is to have a setting where artists and creative individuals from other disciplines can interact and work together while presenting art, design and creativity in different ways; be it a talk, a bazaar, a publication, a meal or a simple gathering. It is a multi-disciplinary art laboratory that seeks to establish a convergence with artists, designers, curators, writers, musicians, film makers, activists, educators, researchers, cultural workers, performers, architects and students together with the general public.
98B was established in January 2012 by Mark Salvatus (visual artist) and Mayumi Hirano (curator and researcher) as a response to the need for alternative venues in Manila. Salvatus opened up his studio and residence to respond to this dearth; 98B is his address. July of 2012 provided us with an opportune playground to frolic in – Escolta, Manila. Anjo Bolarda (artist and illustrator), Marika Constantino (visual artist and curator), Gabriel Villegas (art director) together with 98B’s Founders, direct the team’s various programs and activities towards creative sharing, discussion and collaboration. The 98B Team has ten founding members and is currently run by seven members aside from its five Directors.
We are currently located at the mezzanine floor of the First United Building (formerly known as the Perez-Samanillo Building which is along Escolta Street in the heart of old Manila and a stone-throw away from the world’s oldest Chinatown. The elegant six story art deco building was built in 1928 and designed by Andres Luna de San Pedro (son of Juan Luna, a world-renowned Filipino painter during the late 1800s).
The area itself is considered as a business heritage district. It was the commercial hub of Manila during the early 1900s and was a witness to many “firsts” in the country: first ice cream parlor, first movie house, first electric tram among others. It is less than a kilometre in length but it is replete of magnificent post-colonial architecture designed by highly respected Filipino architects. Significant businesses, fashionable items and imported merchandise were sourced in the street during that period. Since we moved to Escolta, its history and heritage have been part of 98B’s backdrop.
We have a modest multi-functional space. Depending on the need, it can serve as a studio, office, library, shop or kitchen. The 98B library is an aggregate of art books, journals, magazines, exhibition catalogues, brochures, posters, invitations, audio recordings and videos donated by friends, colleagues, galleries and institutions from here and abroad. These art-related documentations aspire to establish a free and open repository of art references for individuals looking for more information on specific concepts, designs and works of local and foreign artists. It is open to anyone who may wish to browse through our collection. It is also geared towards sharing references from our other networks around the globe.
The space itself can comfortably accommodate a maximum of 20 people. Through the years, we were able to slowly upgrade the facilities and equipment within it. It is also available for rent for intimate activities and meetings. The 98B Space is a quiet and creative respite from Manila’s din.
98B is a platform for critical discourse, experimentation, exchange, information and presentation of contemporary art in the philippines.
98B seeks to establish convergence with creatives from diverse disciplines together with the general public.
98B aims to present local and international contemporary art through our various programs, projects and research, outside the confines of the white cube.
98B presents art in multiple layers and perspectives to a broad and diverse audience while contributing to the contemporary art scene
98B is stimulated with ideas, projects and explorations that ask pertinent questions, stretch boundaries and more importantly, provide unintimidating access to art and creativity.