CEBU is known and loved for a lot of reasons. Among those on the list, it was the locals—particularly their smiles—that captured the heart of French street artist Vinie and inspired her to create her work which is said to be the artist’s first graffiti art in Southeast Asia.
Standing at 7.5-meters tall, the mural shows a beautiful woman in the water with hair made of leaves and spruced up with flowers.
Known for her mesmerizing portraits of women with expressive faces that are often described as “larger-than-life,” Vinie brings that same vibe with this mural while capturing some of the things the city is known for. Looking up close, one can notice these said elements like the mango for an earring and the palm leaves for bracelets that remind one of the pusô or hanging rice.
“On the first week I took a lot of pictures of flowers, leaves and trees. It inspired me a lot,” said Vinie. Apart from this, what also struck her was the sweet disposition of the people and the warm welcome she received. “Keep smiling because you do it all the time and it’s incredible. You are so welcoming and friendly. It was for me a good experience.”
Vinie shared that through all her works, which are not only found in different corners of the world but are accessible to all, she hopes for audiences especially the children to be inspired.
“The thing that I’m so proud about this is it’s literally Cebu in a nutshell through Vinie’s lens,” shared Cheryl Pages-Alba, owner and general manager of Summers where the mural can be found. The cafe is located on Don Jose Avila St., Cebu City.
Summers is one of the food brands under the Pages Holdings Group. It promises that “tropical escape in the city” as Pages described it. With its easygoing atmosphere where sweet treats like the ever comforting halo-halo are served, its concept is on the nostalgic note as it hopes to remind diners of the old Cebu where people can enjoy their favorite desserts casually.
Having Vinie’s mural at their place came to be when they were drumming up ideas for the wall. Being an admirer of her works for their touch of playfulness, Pages dreamed of having Vinie do the artwork at the place’s wall. After months of contacting the artist, the idea she calls a passion project came to fruition. “It’s really her signature to do this girl with amazing hair. I just appreciated her but I never thought that one day I would get to bring her here. She was the missing piece to our concept,” she said, also hoping that through this, more artists would be inspired with their passion and unleash their creative talents.