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Leather Reborn at Manila FAME
| 06 November 2018

To promote the beauty and use of leather, APLF partnered with Manila FAME to organise the second Leather Reborn on 19-21 October 2018. 15 local artists were invited to experiment painting on leathers sponsored by JBS, a member of Leather Naturally. 


Manila FAME is Philippines‘s premier sourcing platform for hand-crafted products ranging from home decor, furniture and fashion accessories. The fair was visited by thousands of local manufacturers, exporters, artisans and furniture designers - audience group targeted by Leather Naturally.

Formed by stakeholders in the leather industry, Leather Naturally, the sponsor of Leather Reborn, is an initiative to inform and inspire the buying public, fashion designers and finished product manufacturers about the use, beauty, versatility and sustainability of leather. 

Leather Reborn Partnered with Local Artist Supporting Groups

At Manila FAME, APLF partnered with Department of Trade & Industry Philippines (DTI) and Walls Gallery to invite artists to paint at the exhibition. 

Speaking to Gigi Lim, founder of Walls Gallery and its Artist Community Fund, she explained the purpose of her gallery is to gather local talent artists, support them by buying their paintings and reproduce their artworks onto fashion accessories. The sales revenue will return to its artist supporting fund, while a percentage of it will be donated to Erda Foundation, an education fund to support local students to receive education. 

The Walls Artist Community also supports upcoming artists. One of the projects was the publication of “Future Legend”, an album featuring the portfolios of their artists. Today, in partnership with different organisations like Leather Reborn, Walls also showcases artists and their artworks for the benefit of charitable causes and provide a venue for them to exhibit their paintings.

Gigi Lim, Founder of Walls Artist Community

Leather Reborn was Well Received by Designers and Artists

Located right at the entrance of Artisans Village, the Leather Reborn booth successfully caught the attention of all visitors entering this area. Apart from the amazing paintings, visitors were also eager to understand the Leather Reborn project, its supporting organisations and the truth about leather. 

Leather, a beautiful and durable material, offers endless design possibilities. Apart from making shoes and bags, it can also be used to create art and home decor. Leather is recycling industry: hides and skins are upcycled into beautiful and useful leathers. Unlike synthetics which are basically plastics, leather is also an environmental friendly material which is biodegradable, sustainable and durable. Well-maintained leather goods can last as long as your lifetime. 


Artworks Focused on Sustainability      

The artists were inspired by this natural material: many of the 15 paintings completed during the exhibition are related to environment and sustainability. The irregular shape of the materials also encourage them to adopt bold compositions. 

Joemarie, who teaches painting to children with cancer, created Cycle of Life, which describes the importance of leaving a clean river to the next generation. The same theme could also be found in Rufe’s Green Planet and Alex’s Every Day’s Fishing for a Living. 

Joemarie’s Cycle of Life   Rufe’s Green Planet   Alex’s Every Day’s Fishing for a Living

Both Erasmos’ The Citadel of Cow and Angelito’s Lion in a Floral Crown describe how urbanisation was built on the scarification of the environment, and the suffering of living creatures as a result of global warming.

Erasmos’ Citadel of Cow   Angelito’s Lion in a Floral Crown

Experiment with Leather

For many artists it was their first time to draw on leather. They all agreed leather is an ideal surface to paint on. No special technique was required, but the smooth surface allowed the paint to settle quickly, and no base layer was needed as opposed to painting on canvas. 

Many of them were using the texture and natural creases to create their paintings. Gene Tonic made use of the creases on his leather to achieve the three dimensional effect in his Discussion. 

Raeche is the only artist who painted on the other side of the leather. A suede lover, she sprayed the paints on her leather to create a water-flowing effect in her painting titled A Butterfly Dream.  

Gene Tonic’s Discussion   Raeche’s A Butterfly Dream   Raeche’s A Butterfly Dream

Artworks for Charity

Leather Reborn is a charity project to support the local community. Ten of the artworks completed in Manila FAME will be sold by the Walls Gallery to support its artist community. Another five together with the art pieces created in the first Leather Reborn at All China Leather Exhibition, Shanghai, will be put up for auction at APLF on 13-15 March 2019 in Hong Kong. The funds raised will also go to a charity designated by the artists.     

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