Arts & Culture
Everything You Need to Do When Heading to Art Fair Philippines
Practical tips for enthusiasts headed to the big art event.
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Three and a half floors of art, nine featured artists, 16 talks, 46 participating galleries—Art Fair Philippines is a gold mine. The event, which runs from February 16 to 19 at The Link in Makati, offers so much more than walls lined with paintings. During the Art Fair preview, sound group WSK’s wall-as-musical-instrument intrigued numerous guests. Intricate glass-blown pieces, installations that produce the feeling of being underwater, and a trove of Phaidon art books are just some of things to look forward to.

So how do you navigate the venue and make the most of your visit? Here are some practical tips for a remarkable Art Fair experience.   

Read about featured artists before heading to the venue.
Art Fair has commissioned artists to create pieces especially for the event. The selection says a lot about the direction of the 2017 edition: experimental, inclusive, political minded. Reading about these artists will help set expectations and plot interesting areas in your itinerary. Get your Art Fair primer here.

Wear comfortable shoes.
The floor plan of Art Fair is enough to tell you that comfortable footwear is needed. The fifth floor of The Link has brand-sponsored exhibits including a Volkswagen Beetle painted by Indonesian artist Arkiv Vilmansa, while the sixth and seventh floors have wide spaces for the 46 galleries that are exhibiting their collections. The roof deck is an additional venue for talks by the likes of New York-based artist James Nares, Argentine curator Ferran Barenbilt, art sociologist Sarah Thornton, and historian Ambeth Ocampo. Best to come in flats if you plan to explore all floors in one visit.



Allow time for slow exploration.
The best way to enjoy Art Fair is to walk at a glacial pace. Better to make one round to get a general feel of the place and then come back to the galleries and pieces which made an impression on you. 



Know the implicit rules of museum or gallery visits.
Although some gallery spaces at Art Fair don’t have do-not-touch signs, err on the side of caution and practice common museum rules. Turn off the flash of your camera and don’t touch the art no matter how intriguing the texture—unless you are at WSK’s Wall of Sound, which requires touch to produce riffs and blares.

Interactive stations are best enjoyed with company. And if you can, bring artist and designer friends with you.
Carve out some alone time so you can observe pieces at your own pace, but have friends with you in the sound art area, Agnes Arellano's incense-filled sculpture room, and other areas with conversation pieces. Friends who practice art, design, and culture studies are some of the best Art Fair companions—you’ll get instant impressions about the process behind intriguing pieces and nuanced comments that can spark interesting discussions.

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Approach gallerists for questions.
Each participating gallery has its own art space and experts. Don’t hesitate to talk to them about pieces on display and art in general. They are easy to spot: look for the people with big IDs. 



Note your favorite collections.
This way, you’ll know which galleries house your preferred genres and media. You can visit these galleries in the future for pieces that match your aesthetics.

Join Art Fair events beyond the main venue.
Art Fair also has public exhibitions and activities outside of The Link. Make sure to mark these on your calendars:

PUBLIC ART

Outdoor Film Screening
Street (2012) by James Nares
February 16 to 19 at 12 noon 2 p.m., 5 p.m., and 9 p.m.
Fountain Area of Tower One and Exchange Plaza, Ayala Triangle, Makati City

Mixed Media Exhibit
Bombardment (2016) by Charlie Co
February 16 to 19
Greenbelt Fashion Walk, Ayala Center

Pre-crafted Artist Pavillions
Revolution
February 16 to 19
5th Avenue Park Area, Net Park Building, Bonifacio Global City

ART EVENTS

Busker Performances
10 Days of Art Live!
February 16 to 19, 12 noon and 5 p.m.
Makati streets, underpasses and walkways

Exhibition Openings
Apichatpong Weerasethakul: The Serenity of Madness
February 17, 5:30 p.m.
Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD)

Altarpiece: Natee Utarit
February 17, 6 p.m.  
Ayala Museum

Pauses of Possibility
February 18,  4 p.m.
Lopez Museum and Library

Silent Disco
February 18 at 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Ayala Triangle Gardens Courtyard Area, Makati City

Exhibitions and talks at The Link in Makati will run from February 16 to 19. “10 Days of Art,” a series of events and public art exhibitions beyond the main venue are scheduled until the last day of Art Fair. Tickets are priced at P250 (free admission for Makati students and P50 for students outside Makati). For more information, visit artfairphilippines.com.

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Kwyn Kenaz Aquino
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