Boysen KNOxOUT Project Edsa


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BOYSEN Launches World's First Air Cleaning Public Art Project

June 21 2011 -

BOYSEN® KNOxOUT™ Project: EDSA (Everyone Deserves Safe Air),  the world’s first large scale public art project using paints that can clean noxious air pollutants – was launched at San Lorenzo Village, Makati City last May 7.

This endeavor is an initiative of BOYSEN® Paints, the country’s leading paint brand, to lessen air pollution on EDSA, the city’s most polluted roadway, through large-scale artworks. The project, which is closely coordinated with the Metro Manila Development Authority and curated by TAO Inc., will consist of eight massive artworks, each measuring about 1,000 square meters in eight different locations along the 24 kilometer stretch of EDSA. All of the artworks will use BOYSEN® KNOxOUT , a new technology that has been proven in several scientifically verified trials around the world to reduce the level of air pollution. 
“This is the first public art project in the world that has an air cleaning dimension,” says Johnson Ongking, vice president of BOYSEN ® Paints. “It’s a very unique mix of art and science – we’re transforming EDSA into a showcase for art while using a globally innovative technology to help clean the air. It’s using the beauty of art to help address the ugly problem of air pollution in our city.” 
Air pollution causes almost 14 avoidable deaths per day in the city, according to a study done by the World Bank and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). And it stealthily shortens the lives of everyone else - a recent UK parliamentary report estimated that breathing polluted air cut life expectancy by up to 9 years. A UP College of Medicine study found that half of all medications sold in the country are for respiratory illnesses. 
Roadside pollution poses the biggest threat to human health, because of its high concentration so close to where we live and work. The main contributor to roadside pollution is nitrogen dioxide (NO2 ), a reddish brown toxic gas produced from vehicle emissions with serious health and environmental effects.  While the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Union set a 24 hour limit of 40 μg/m3 for NO2 to protect public health, the average daily NO2 level near the Guadalupe MRT Station in 2009 was over 4 ½ times this limit, and rose to 7 times over the limit on higher traffic days.
 “The air we breathe in Metro Manila, especially along the busiest roads, is not safe for our health,” he added. “But we can’t choose what air to breathe, and even if we know the air in the city is not good for us, choosing to breathe less air is not an option. We need to find ways to make the air cleaner and safer for us, because everyone deserves safe air. ”
The air cleaning properties of BOYSEN® KNOxOUT , the first and only air cleaning paint in the world with CristalACTiV technology, was verified in the world’s largest air cleaning paint trial done at the Guadalupe MRT Station in 2009. The trial, which was monitored by the Manila Observatory and the Swedish environmental project management company Conexor, showed that the KNOxOUT painted on the walls of the station and surrounding area cleaned the NO2 emissions of over 30,000 cars passing by the station every day. 
The CristalACTiV technology used in KNOxOUT , which has been in use for over 30 years in lowering NOx emissions in power plants and diesel engines, has also been proven in other trials in Europe, including a recently concluded trial in Camden, London verified by King’s College that showed similar decreases in NO2 levels.
A study in Europe by APHEIS (Air Pollution and Health: A European Information System) found that even very small cuts in pollution can benefit health, while a Harvard University study found that people living in cities where air pollution decreased in recent decades saw their life expectancy increase an average of five months as a result of cleaner air.
“Every little bit counts in the fight against air pollution,” said Ongking. “Obviously the best thing to do is to stop pollutants from getting into the air in the first place, and the MMDA’s program of getting smoke belchers off the road is an important part of that. But as long as there are motor vehicles on the road, there will be NOx in the air, and I don’t think society is ready to stop using cars, buses, trucks or motorcycles in the very near future.”
 “All of us who use motor vehicles are part of the pollution problem, and KNOxOUT makes it possible for us to be part of the solution.” 
Eight individuals/pairs of artists are participating in the BOYSEN® KNOxOUT Project: EDSA. The chosen artists are quite familiar with communication through graphic means in outdoor spaces; and have the training to think about the history of site-specific work as they plan their images – very crucial qualities for a project of this nature.
The artists who will be involved in BOYSEN® KNOxOUT Project: EDSA are: 
  • Social Realist painter, graphic designer, and political cartoonist Jose Tence Ruiz 
  • Asuncion “Baby” Imperial and Damien “Coco” Anne of the Manila-based graphic design studio B+C 
  • Brisbane-based partners Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan
  • Multi-awarded art department of the advertising agency TBWA
  • France-trained painter and virtuoso printmaker Virgilio “Pandy” Aviado
  • Highly-regarded Japanese-American Neal Oshima who has lived in the Philippines for more than 3 decades 
  • Dutch-Indonesian, London-based artist and curator Erika Tan, whose work is inspired by her interest in anthropology and the moving image
  • London-based architects Tapio Snellman and Christian Grou, who own the practice named Neutral, founded in Tokyo.
“The power of KNOxOUT is that it’s an empowering technology – it gives everyone the power to transform ordinary walls into air filters,” added Ongking. “These great artists are creating beautiful air filters for everyone to appreciate, but for the rest of us who don’t have their talents we can still do our share for clean air by painting up more air filters all over the city.”
“We chose EDSA because of what it symbolizes. On one hand, its name is associated with our city’s problems – especially traffic and pollution. On the other hand, EDSA represents the best of the Filipino with the People Power Revolution.” 
“This EDSA project is about rekindling the spirit of people power to fight the problem of air pollution. People from all walks of life – scientists, engineers, artists, painters, government officials – are working together in this project for cleaner air. After all, we all breathe the same air, and it’s our common responsibility to make sure it stops being harmful to us.”
These eight artworks are just the start. For us to have cleaner air along EDSA we’ll need more help from other companies and individuals to contribute and work together to paint up air purifiers along the rest of EDSA. It doesn’t need to be as beautiful as these works of art, a plain white air purifying wall does the job just as well. Everyone deserves safe air, but we all have to chip in and work together to make it happen.”