Just like a lot of Alamat’s fans (IG: @brgymagiliw), we fell head over heels in love with Alamat's latest music video “Kasmala”. Alamat’s fandom has a wide range of ways to express their appreciation for this 8-member Pinoy pop group, from reaction videos to dance covers to streaming their M/V day and night. What we find particularly fascinating is the fan art that circulated on the internet since the World premiere of “Kasmala” on July 15, 2021.
Fans have different ways of being part of the “Alamat” world and fan art is one of the entry points.
Fan art is defined as “artworks that are neither created nor (normally) commissioned or endorsed by the creators of the work from which the fan art derives.”
We interviewed two Alamat fan artists (i.e., @Chimomeetsworld and @renhisui) to gain more insights into this fandom and how they have become part of the Alamat world through their art.
IG user @Chimomeetsworld, whose real identity he prefers not to reveal, reimagined the “Mandirigma” characters played by the Ppop band.
Chimo said that he was definitely “inspired by the wardrobe” designed by Kandama’s founder and indigenous designer, Victor Baguilat Jr.
“To me they looked like Mortal Combat characters meets the ethno futurism of Wakanda, meets filipino deities or fantastical warriors in the modern times. So I wanted to think of them as elemental and human constructs personified, especially with Valfer, Mo and Gami", Chimo adds.
We also asked, 19 year-old digital artist and future animator @renhisui about his works and how he got into the world of making fan art! @renhisui shares that the concept of his Alamat fan art is to turn the members into characters of a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) because he is fond of the splash art he sees in Mobile Legends and League of Legends.
We wanted to know what drew these artists into the world of Alamat, so we asked them what got them into stanning this PPop group.
@Chimomeetsworld said, “I first saw Alamat when my friend shared the video concept of Alamat. Filipino lads speaking different Philippine languages wearing contemporary Filipino street fashion- it was a good fever dream. The potential and the care put in building this concept is ambitious and they are pulling it off. Their group IG account laid a good idea of the vision of group. And it didn't hurt that the guys are really dashing and charming in very different ways.”
“Then I saw k bye and their cover songs in Youtube- I felt proud to hear our languages (even though I do not understand them), the songs were sung well, rapped hard, and danced with energy. This is clearly talent I can be proud of as a Filipino. I bought in.”
On a similar note, @renhisui said that he really likes the concept of Alamat, to wit, “Gusto ko talaga ang concept ng group. Wherein they include 8 of the many languages in the Philippines and giving a spotlight to each one of them. Pati instruments ng Pilipinas, sa bawat songs nila ay nashoshowcase.”
Being a Fan Artist During the Pandemic
Chimo revealed that he became a fan artist with the boom of Pinoy BL at the first Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) of the pandemic. He said: “At the time I was really hooked with an awesome Pinoy BL (Gameboys), so I started drawing stickers and artwork for them. I was able to be part of a small group of artists and collaborated with them for artworks for other BLs (GSP). One of my friends from that group is an avid fan of Alamat (@KRBX) and would talk about them and kbye endlessly on discord. From there I came to know and also got hooked with Alamat both as a musical group and as a concept/message.”
The Joys of Being an Alamat Fan Artist
We delved into the benefits of being an Alamat fan artist, and this is what Chimo said: “At the time I made my third project- Mandirigma I was in an actual art block. I couldn't make ideas that I can translate into art. When Alamat came with their Kasmala teaser concept, things sparked. I originally wanted to do the masks concept for kasmala for the strong social commentary they posed, then I saw your collection and saw an opportunity to play in the realms of Mortal Kombat, Black Panther, and various anime fantasy shows I watched. Inspiration flooded in.”
“Needless to say all the people that make Alamat possible give me juice when I need to tap in for inspiration.”
On the other hand, @renhisui shares that a lot of people are discovering him because of the fan art that he made for Alamat.
He also said that in the process of making fan art of Alamat he gets to learn more about the Philippines. He said: “nag research ren ako for the backgrounds and weapons na ibinigay ko sa bawat members. So may natutunan pa akong mga bagay na di ko alam about sa Philippines. Like the different tools, history, and folklore of their respective regions.”
Other Alamat Fan Artists
While we are already impressed with the works of @chimomeetsworld and @renhisui, we are thrilled to see more fan art of Alamat on other platforms, such as Twitter and Pinterest. Twitter user @Desa96043762 has posted her fascinating work that depicts South East Asian solidarity in supporting Alamat, as the latter reclaim Philippine heritage and history.
A Vibrant Fandom
We are of the impression that fan artists are important in the appeal of Alamat’s fandom and we cannot wait to see more Alamat fan art in the years to come as they convey their message of inclusivity, diversity, and love amidst the prevalence of asian-Hate and a history of colonial oppression.