Mark Salvatus is an intermedia artist at the forefront of critical discourse on the subject of urbanization and the socio-economic underpinnings that are made manifest in densely-populated areas. The urban landscape serves as both repository and stage for Salvatus’ works that deal with familiar objects, chance encounters, and everyday politics.
Significantly influenced by the Internet, advertising, and pop culture, his oeuvre spans a varied range of media, from a series of defaced city maps ("Codes", 2007- today), sculptural installations ("Model Unit", 2012), to multi-channel video work ("Notes from the New World", 2015). Salvatus also conducts public participatory interventions, i.e. "Wrapped: Traces" – a continuing artistic project that has been conducted in several cities that he has visited since 2007, engaging and collaborating with random bystanders by asking them to trace the outlines of objects or personal belongings on a communal wall.
The artist’s persistent preoccupation on urban culture is most evident in his video works such as "Model City Series" (2012-today), "Current Affair$" (2014), "Mountains" (2015), "We Used to Roam the World" (2015), and "Sketch" (2015), through which Salvatus conveys his clever commentary on the incongruities that plague Metro Manila, the Philippine capital region deemed to be the land of opportunities.
In 2006, Salvatus cofounded "Pilipinas Street Plan", a Manila-based network of individuals focused in saturating metropolitan interstitial spaces with ephemeral activity, e.g. street art and happenings. Furthermore, in 2012 he cofounded "98B COLLABoratory", an artist-run, multidisciplinary site and convergence zone for creative sharing, discussion, and collaboration.
Mark Salvatus (b. 1980) currently lives and works between Manila, Philippines and Osaka, Japan. He graduated cum laude at the University of Santo Tomas College of Fine Arts and Design Manila with a degree in Advertising Arts. He had solo shows at the Vargas Museum (Manila/PH), Ateneo Art Gallery (Manila/PH), Cultural Center of the Philippines (Manila/PH), La Trobe University Visual Art Center, (Melbourne/AU) and Goyang Art Studio (KR). His works have been presented in various international exhibitions including Video Spotlight: Philippines, Asia Society (NYC/USA, 2015); Neither Back nor Forward: Acting in the Present, Jakarta Biennale (Jakarta/ID, 2015); Survival Kit, (Umea/SW, 2014); Prologue: Honolulu Biennial (2014); Censorship, Move on Asia, Alternative Space Loop (Seoul/KR, 2014); Hotel Inmigrantes, parallel event Manifesta 9 (Hasselt/BE, 2012); 4th Guangzhou Triennale, Guandong Museum of Art (Guangzhou/CN, 2011); 3rd Singapore Biennale, Singapore Art Museum (SG, 2011); Koganecho Bazaar (Yokohama/JP, 2011); X IV Jakarta Biennale, Galeri Nasional (Jakarta/ID, 2011), La Trobe Univeristy Museum of Art | LUMA (Melbourne/AU, 2011), Next Wave Festival (Melbourne/AU, 2010); Asia Panic (Gwangju/KR, 2009).
Mark Salvatus is a recipient of the 13 Artists Award from the Cultural Center of the Philippines (2012); Sovereign-Schoeni Art Prize, Hong Kong (2012) and Ateneo Art Awards (2010) and is invited to join the Philippine Pavilion at the Architecture Biennale 2016 in Venice/IT.