There’s a stigma that often sees art as disconnected from the common folk, reserved for the enjoyment of the more affluent members of society. The cultured propriety of the art gallery would never mix with the laid-back playfulness of the common bar, but that’s exactly the hybrid art space that KONDWI, Poblacion’s latest creative hot spot, aims to achieve.
A play on the word “conduit,” KONDWI’s two-level space is an art gallery and bar that offers a new dimension to the neighborhood’s already vibrant bar scene. A collaborative effort of various creatives and entrepreneurs, it aims to serve as an incubator space for all art, design, performance, and gastronomy enthusiasts.
Built to function as a gallery, black box theater, restaurant, and bar, KONDWI is a modern antidote to the stiffness and perceived exclusivity that continue to dominate the traditional art scene. Its goal is to make art more approachable for everyone, and give contemporary artists an avenue to present their work.
“We wanted to create a space to showcase [artwork] and performances that traditional galleries are rarely able to accommodate,” says KONDWI’s Creative Director, visual artist Leeroy New. The second floor is equipped with high ceilings, a large open space, and provisions for lights and staging to be able to house large installations, performance art, and other hybrid art pieces and collaborations by artists of different persuasions. The space also plans to house a workspace and mini library, with the goal of eventually becoming the neighborhood’s local art center.
Alternatively, a restaurant and bar also operate at KONDWI’s ground level, adorned with neon lights and eccentric art fixtures. Tapas versions of familiar Asian fare, prepared by young chef Alex Tan, are perfectly paired with creative cocktails by mixologist Ulysse Jouanneaud. For those more partial to midday meetings, they also serve lunch during the day.
Chef Alex Tan reimagines Asian favorites into tapas, served alongside cocktails by Ulysse Jouanneaud.
Greater than the sum of its parts, KONDWI hopes to function as a creative playground in the local area, fostering a community of those passionate about good food, good drinks, and good art.