BY MADS BAJARIAS | I first learned of Ngok after seeing a sidewalk pasteup of bizarre zombie-like heads silkscreened on paper with the words "Happy New Year" and signed "Ngok."
Recently, I came across a photo of "Meanie!" by Ngok. Set against a black background, what seems to be an IBM Selectric typewriter (or a stenotype machine) sprouts a hand and legs with feet in strappy shoes. Five yellow stars adorn the image under the heading: MEANIE!
It's strange. It's mystifying. It's a head-scratcher until the visual pun hits you: Type Ko Legs Mo. Not everyone will like it, but I find its oddball appeal satisfying. What else is there to say?
We're used to seeing politicians claim street space for themselves so they can put up posters listing their so-called accomplishments. I say I'd rather have images of morphing typewriters and sexy legs with strappies any day. And I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that we need more "Meanies!" in Manila.
I've since learned that Ngok is part of Pilipinas Street Plan (PSP), a group of street artists around the country. A few of Ngok's art pieces can be viewed here.
In deep cyberspace, I was able to reach Ngok and tried to extract more info about “Meanie!”
What's the deal with "Meanie!"?
N: “Meanie!” evolved from an illustration I did entitled "Type Ko Legs Mo.” The name “Meanie!” started when I met a childhood friend again after fifteen years. We took to calling each other “Meanie Prince” and “Meanie Princess” (cheesy stuff, I know), and that's where "Meanie" came from.
Um, so it's a typewriter, not a stenotype machine or a cash register, with legs.
N: It’s a typewriter.
Any plans for “Meanie!”?
N: I was planning to do a series of “Meanie!” pasteups by August around the De La Salle Taft area.
What’s the attraction to you of pasteups?
N: It is the cheapest form of street art as far as I know.
Once you paste something on the sidewalk, it’s practically gone, right?
N: Not really. The “Meanie!” pasteup actually is still there. It’s just a matter of choosing carefully where to paste up. Choosing a place like an abandoned building or a wall where no one would bother removing your pasteups would be good.
How do you deal with cops?
N: Pasting up runs less risk of being caught by cops compared to tagging using spray paint.
Tell us about Pilipinas Street Plan (PSP).
N: Filipino artists who love the streets.