Life for street vendors has become extremely difficult these days. From manong fishball down the block to the takatak boys we used to see every day in traffic, these people trying to make a living out on the street have been struggling more than ever since the pandemic hit.
As a tribute to these people, artist Ken Hensly of Kensuke Creations imagined a cyberpunk-themed future where the everyday street vendor exists—all of them sporting futuristic rides and gear.
The set features icons such as dirty ice cream, balut, and taho—sone of the staples of Filipino street food culture. Our personal favorites would have to be the fishball vendor and ice-cream cart hovercraft and that Yakult vendor’s Segway-like gizmo. You can check out the artwork below:
The artist considers these street vendors as “an integral part of the urban economy” in the Philippines. Having grown in the slums in the heart of Cebu City himself, he knew how street food provided employment and income for less-fortunate families in the community.
“Living as residents amongst the urban poor, these vendors contributed to the community with affordable snacks and takeaways. In fact, they are also considered a lifeline for some low-income families. Unfortunately, it's during this pandemic where these vendors are struggling the most,” Kensuke Creations told Top Gear Philippines.
The artist also mentioned how he’s starting to see fewer and fewer vendors out on the street, and shared how it feels like losing a part of his childhood. “The street food trade definitely deserves recognition for all that they have provided to many Pinoys,” he said.
If you liked the artwork you saw here, you might also want to see Kensuke Creations’ tribute to delivery riders—you can click this link to see more.
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