Now that Los Angeles is well-acquainted with Filipino cuisine, it's time for the Philippines' celebrity-beloved design stars to get their moment in the sunny spotlight. Enter Pulo Project, an exhibition series featuring works of renowned and rising South Asian artists and designers at Please Do Not Enter and its equally cool neighbor, the NoMad Hotel, now through July 7.
Pulo (which means "island" in Tagalog") Project was founded by Please Do Not Enter store director and L.A. designer Michelle Aquino (who's Filipina-American). At the Downtown boutique and art gallery, expect to find furniture and decor from established industrial designer Kenneth Cobonpue (whose fans include former President Barack Obama and Brad Pitt), like playful resin bird vases ($100 to $110), his signature Dragnet chair, a surprisingly comfy stool made of rattan poles and memory foam, and the site-specific Conch lighting installation ($21,000), a collaboration with designer Luisa Robinson that features 10 massive handmade pendants made of sustainable bamboo.
Also on display at Please Do Not Enter are handwoven basket handbags and sculptural objects by Zacarias 1925, accessories Manila Collectible, inlaid shell necklaces and more jewelry by Susanne Verallo, and womenswear from Aquino's own line, M Dot Design (which includes crepe de chine dresses and blouses featuring the infamous Chocolate Hills of the Philippines). Of course, those cheeky wooden barrel man figurines (a popular souvenir) will also be in the mix.
Over at NoMad's hotel gift shop and gallery, The Lab, find Lady Gaga-faved designer Leeroy New's "Aliens of Manila" exhibit featuring kaleidoscopic creations made from found objects (like colorful plastic baskets, accordion piping, zip ties, and medical tweezers) as well as decadent minaudières by luxury label Neil Felipp (including the Suzy Wong dragon clutch as seen in Crazy Rich Asians) and beaded jewelry by marine-biologist-turned-designer Ken Samudio.
The series is also popping up at the ninth annual L.A. Design Festival from June 20 to 23, when Lenita by Grita's fashionable floral truck and artist Jasko Begović (a.k.a. Sko Habibi) will merge their designs at Row DTLA from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Then from July 9 to August 4, The Lab's gallery space will feature a new Pulo Project exhibit featuring a collaboration between Filipino and American designers, including art, bags, and objects by Zacarpata (Zacarias 1925 and Garapata) and a botanical scent installation by Barratt Riley & Co. and Airplantman founder/landscape architect Josh Rosen.
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Pulo Project at Please Do Not Enter, 549 South Olive St.; and NoMad Hotel, 649 South Olive St., 90013