Arts & Culture

Your Guide to the Much-Awaited Art Fair Philippines 2018

When the local fair began in 2013, it saw 6,000 visitors walk through its doors. Last year, the number grew to over 40,000.

The last five years have been exciting for art lovers, collectors, and gallerists who have been attending the annual Art Fair Philippines at The Link. The art exhibition gears up for its sixth and biggest show yet on March 1 to 4. 

What’s new for Art Fair Philippines 2018?

An obvious focus on contemporary photography

Expect the Art Fair’s focus to be shifted to photography, as this year’s goal is to reinforce photography’s place as a form of contemporary art and expand its collectibility among Filipinos. Renowned photographer Neal Oshima takes center stage, with a solo exhibit and a joint exhibit with curator Angel Shaw, and as a speaker for an Art Fair talk.

During the fair, Oshima will unveil “Kin,” an exhibit of new works that puts the spotlight on the Austronesian linguistic group, tying together the theme of his poignant style. With a longstanding fascination with indigenous groups and tribes, Oshima has been using his talent as a data-gathering tool for over four decades.


Neal Oshima

Oshima also teams up with curator Angel Shaw for the fair's pioneer exhibit on documentary photography called “Provocations.” The duo collated works from image-makers who are not associated with any gallery, so guests will view works from emerging documentary photographers such as Geloy Concepcion, Paco Guerrero, Veejay Villafranca, and more.


Oshima and Shaw

Apart from Oshima and Shaw’s exhibit, 1335 Mabini will curate works by Filipino-Catalan photographer Eduardo Masferre, dated from 1934 to 1956, recording the day to day lives of tribesmen from the Cordillera Mountains.

A photo by Eduardo Masferre

Art Fair co-presenter Julius Baer, a Swiss bank, will feature select photos from its collection, revolving around the works of contemporary Swiss artists and up-and-coming young talents.

A bigger (and better) fair

When the local fair began in 2013, it saw 6,000 visitors walk through its doors. Five years later, in 2017, the number grew to over 40,000. The unexpected but thrilling reception has Art Fair co-founders Trickie Lopa, Dindin Araneta, and Lisa Ongpin Periquet anticipating an even greater number this year.

“We’ve seen how the interest in Philippine contemporary art has grown,” says co-founder Lopa, “Our move to secure a bigger space and oversee access to the fair will allow us to enhance the viewing experience of our visitors and help ensure that artworks can be properly appreciated.”

To house the participating 51 galleries (36 of which are local), Art Fair Philippines 2018 will use all the space in The Link for its yearly conversion into a multi-level exhibition venue.


Here are the participating galleries so far: 1335 Mabini, Altro Mondo Arte Contemporanea, Archivo 1984, ARNDT, Art Cube Gallery, Art Lab: Atelier Cesare & Jean Marie Syjuco, Art Underground, Art Verite Gallery, Artemis Art, Artery Art Space, ArtInformal, Asian Cultural Council/Leon Gallery, Avellana Art Gallery, blanc, Boston Art Gallery, Canvas, Cayon, Deck, Eduoard Malingue Gallery, Everyday Impunity, Finale Art File, FOST Gallery, Gajah Gallery, Galerie Anna, Galerie Stephanie, Galleria Duemila, Gallery Kogure Tokyo/NYC, Gallery Orange, J Studio, Kaida Contemporary, Mind Set Art Center, MO_Space, Nunu Fine Art, Paseo Art Gallery, Pinto Art Museum, Salcedo Private View, Secret Fresh, Silverlens, Soka Art, STPI, Taksu, The Crucible, The Drawing Room. Tin-Aw Art, Underground, Vinyl on Vinyl, Viva Excon, West Gallery, Yavuz Gallery, YOD + Kogure, and Ysobel Art Gallery.


Timed entry and convenient ticket sales

To regulate foot traffic, the organizers are introducing timed entry periods for public fair days. Visitors will be granted entry during their chosen time slots:

10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Organizers clarify that visitors may stay as long as they like and leave anytime but may only enter within the time frame they choose.

To ease entry, tickets may be purchased online at up to 24 hours before the preferred date and time of entry. Ticket prices on public days go for P350 each and walk-in slots are limited. Students with valid IDs may purchase their tickets for P150, while Makati students with IDs may get theirs at P100.

A bigger opportunity to learn through ArtFairPH/Talks and ArtFairPH/Tours

“This year, the opportunity to learn in Art Fair Philippines has also gotten bigger,” Araneta says. “We’ve developed our educational thrust over the years to accommodate the growing eager audience for this aspect of the fair.”


The ArtFairPH/Talks are some of the most anticipated efforts from the event. It’s an assembly of the art scene’s biggest personalities and at the same time, a way for many art lovers to feed their growing interest. The Talks and Tours are in conjunction with the Ateneo Art Gallery and the Museum Foundation of the Philippines, respectively. Interested visitors may proceed to mark their calendars for the following talks:


Institutions Collecting Contemporary Southeast Asian Art
With curators Clara Kim of the TATE modern and Aaron Seeto of MACAN Contemporary
11 a.m.-1p.m.

Insights on Between Two Worlds: Juan Luna and Raden Saleh at the National Gallery of Art in Singapore
By exhibition curators Russel Storer and Lisa Chikiamco
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Artist Talk
With contemporary visual artist Yee I-Lan
5p.m. – 7 p.m.


Coversation featuring curators from the Mori Art Museum, Gwangju Biennale and Asia Art Archive
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.


Artists Talk on Social Realism in Philippine Contemporary Art
With Renato Habulang, Pablo Baen Santos, and Antpias Delotavo, moderated by Marika Constantino
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Conversation featuring Manila Biennale Curators and Artists
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.


Collectors’ Perspective
With Louie Bate, Rico Quimbo, and Kim Atienza
11 a.m. – 1 p.m.


Collector and Scholar: Professor Ambeth R. Ocampo
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Collector, Patron, and Visual Artist: Fernando Zobel
By curators Guillermo Paneque and Ditas Samson


Panel Discussions on Philippine Documentary Photography
Organized by Angel Shaw and Neal Oshima
11 a.m – 1 p.m.

Conversations Between Artists Kidlat Tahimik and Yason Banal
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

This year’s featured artists, a mix of up-and-coming and seasoned artists, have been commissioned to display installation works throughout the fair’s space. This year’s roster features the likes of multi-awarded filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik, Cordillera-based champion of ethnographic art Leonard Aguinaldo, social-realist group Kaisahan, visual artist Lyra Garcellano, conceptual artist Nilo Ilarde, who possesses a flair for situational interventions, and Alvin Zafra, who will present his two-hour long video “Revolver.”

Kidlat Tahimik

The return of 10 Days of Art

Picking up from last year’s success, 10 Days of Art returns to fuel inspiration around the city in the days leading up to Art Fair and during the fair itself. Through its public art installations, this initiative brings works such as Martha Atienza’s award-winning “Our Islands 11°16'58.4_N 123°45'07.0_E to the Tower One & Exchange Plaza and Leeroy New’s “Oroborus” to the Ayala Center walkway.

Beginning February 23, gallery and museum exhibits will simultaneously join the celebration of Philippine contemporary art. The Metropolitan Museum of Manila will continue to feature artist and Town&Country cover subject Elmer Borlongan, while the Silverlens gallery will display “The Infinite Yes” by Chati Coronel and “Iris” by Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo and Syagini Ratna Wulan.

Hunt down art and artist-inspired cocktails, such as the Don Papa Rum-infused “Don Oshima” at XX XX or the “Sining” at Z Hostel, throughout the metro.


Read through a complete list of the events on


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About The Author
Hannah Lazatin
Features Editor
Hannah is originally from Pampanga and from a big, close-knit family who likes to find a reason to get together at the dinner table. Experiences inspire her. “Once, at a restaurant, I received an interpretation of my second name ‘Celina,’ and it meant 'someone who tries everything once' and that is me through and through,” she says. As for the job, she wants her “readers to be inspired by the stories of the people we feature and to move them to reach for greater things.”
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