Arts & Culture

The Ultimate Guide to Art Fair Philippines 2019: Highlights, Experiences, and Insider Tips

Insider tips, must-see exhibitions, and talks worth attending at the sixth edition of Art Fair Philippines.
IMAGE COURTESY OF ART FAIR PHILIPPINES
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From February 22 to 24, art lovers around the city head to The Link carpark for the annual Art Fair Philippines, now on its seventh year. With the success it's seen over the years, the fair is expected to be packed with even more attendees, which is why you must come with a gameplan. Here's what you need to know before visiting:

More: What to See and Do at Art Fair Philippines 2019


EXPERIENCE THE ART


“A Stitch in Time” by David Medalla

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David Medalla’s popular “A Stitch in Time” exhibition piece makes its debut in the Philippines. The concept for the piece is the constant dialogue between the artist and his audience, wherein he suspends a 15-meter long canvas that contains some of his own belongings. Fairgoers may participate by sewing their own possessions onto the canvas. Medalla’s concept has appeared in London, New York, Lisbon, and even the 2017 Venice Biennale.

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“Step on the Sand and Make Footprints” by Ray Albano

Albano’s award-winning work is reincarnated for this year’s fair. It was first unveiled at the Tokyo International Biennale Exhibition of Prints in 1974. It allows the public to interact to make their own mark on his art, which is essentially a large sandbox that people can step into.. 

“Reversible Rotation” by teamLab


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Globe Platinum is bringing in teamLab, a collaborative group of artists introducing the joys of digital art to people around the world. For Art Fair Philippines, teamLab has prepared a continuous black and white video on loop, displayed on nine channels.


ART FAIR HIGHLIGHTS


Ling Quisumbing Ramilo’s Library of Wood

Christina “Ling” Quisumbing Ramilo creates her own library made of wood in “Forest for the Trees,” taking from the idea of “books that are made of wood.” She arranges these pieces of wood, which are taken from old houses, into something like a collection.

Liv Vinluan’s Nung Gamabalain Yung Sayawan/The Disruption of Dance


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Liv Vinluan at her studio

Karen H. Montinola grant awardee Liv Vinluan uses textiles to bring life to her artwork by creating three-dimensional details. Her work can be combined with different segments of the roll, offering possibilities.

Unseen works by Malang Santos


A preview of Malang Santos's work

Soler Santos, son of artist Mauro Malang Santos and an artist himself, curates a selection of some of his father’s famed works in what’s to be called “Malang’s Women,” from the family's private collection. This will include around two dozen never before seen works by the artist.

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Fernando Botero’s Fat Figures


"Three Women Drinking" by Fernando Botero

Also on exhibit are works by renowned Colombian figurative artist and sculptor Fernando Botero. His distinct style consists of exaggeratedly round bodies and figures. He is known to reference famous artworks like the “Mona Lisa” or copy works by artists such as Diego Velazquez and Francisco de Goya.

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Ryan Villamael’s “Behold A City”


Villamael's work on display at the Ateneo Art Gallery

Villamael creates an enchanting world of leaves made from paper in an attempt to capture a city’s collective memory through his take on archiving. The exhibition piece was first seen at Silverlens Gallery in 2015.

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Oca Villamael's "Cheap Medicine" will also be on display as one of Art Fair Philippines' special projects

A second season of ArtFair/Photo


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Last year's photography section

ArtFair/Photo returns with highlighted exhibitions by MM Yu and Jill Paz. Other exhibitors include 1335Mabini, LUZVIMINDA, and Denise Weldon | Tom Epperson Photographs. Neal Oshima’s “Photograms” and Silverlens’ “Equivalent/s” will also be on display. 

The other floors will showcase works artists represented by 55 galleries, 16 of which are foreign. Participating galleries include: 1335MABINI, Asian Cultural Council/León Gallery, Affinity Art, Altro Mondo Arte Contemporanea, Archivo 1984, Art Cube, Art Underground, Art Verite, Artemis Art, Artery Art Space, Artinformal, Avellana Art Gallery, Blanc, Botero in Asia, Boston Art Gallery, CANVAS, CLEAR Gallery Tokyo, District Gallery, Edouard Malingue Gallery, Eskinita Art Gallery, Finale Art File, Gajah Gallery, Galerie Roberto, Galerie Stephanie, Galleria Duemila, Gallery Kogure, Gallery Orange, J Studio, Kaida Contemporary, Kobayashi Gallery, La Lanta Fine Arts, Mind Set Art Center, MO_Space, Nunu Fine Art, Paseo Art Gallery, PINTÔ ART GALLERY, Salcedo Auctions, Secret Fresh, Shukado, Silverlens, Soka Art, TAKSU, The Crucible, The Drawing Room, Tin-aw gallery, Underground, Vin Gallery, Vinyl on Vinyl, West Gallery, Yavuz Gallery, YOD Gallery, and Ysobel Art Gallery. 

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LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES


Art Fair Philippines has not only been the premier venue to enjoy and purchase contemporary art, but it also gives fairgoers the chance to further their knowledge on the subject. The three days of the fair feature a schedule of talks.

February 22, Friday

The Thinking Behind the Making, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Moderated by visual arts professor Leo Abaya, this talk is a conversation with seven of the featured artists (Villamael, Villamiel, Fabro, Ramilo, d’Aboville, Yu, and Vinluan) and will focus around their artistic process and use of material.

Tax 101: Taxes for Artists and Creatives, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Ever wondered how artists manage their taxes and other legal issues such as intellectual property rights? This panel discussion with attorneys Anton Bengzon, Rommel Santiago, and BJ Palattao may answer your questions.

Selfies and Celebrities: The Portrait from Van Gogh to Warhol, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

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Guest speaker Dr. Kathryn Calley Galitz explores artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Andy Warhol and examines the history of portraits and how it has endured and evolved. Galitz is an award-winning curator and art historian from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She specializes in late 18th- and 19th-century French art. She is also the author of The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Masterpiece Paintings, which will be on sale at Art Bar on the sixth floor.

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February 23, Saturday

Domènec In Conversation with Fr. Jason Dy, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

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Get into the mind of Barcelona-based artist Domènec, who shares his process in creating “Not Here, Not Anywhere” with artist and curator Jason Dy. His exhibition is currently on display at the Ateneo Art Gallery until May 26, 2019.

The Value of Pictures, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Picking up from last year is a panel dedicated to the art of photography moderated by Katya Guerrero, who manages an archive called LUZVIMINDA. She speaks to individuals who have promoted and raise awareness on photography through their institutions. These panelists include Silverlens founder Rachel Rillo, artist Wawi Navarozza, professor Francis Fausto Tady of the DLS-CSB photography program, and Jay Javier of Fotofrabik.

The Art of Fernando Botero, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

What was it like growing up in Fernando Botero’s family? His grandson Felipe provides further insight on this inquiry through a two-hour talk that details how the master works, his grandfather’s artistic style, and what it was like to work with him on his exhibitions in China in 2016 and 2017.

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Into the He(Art) of the Art Market, a Performance Art Auction, 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Judy Freya Sibayan and Lyra Garcellano will be hosting a parody of art auctions and will offer prints by famous artists published by agnès b., but instead of money, the auction will be accepting other valuable items such as “the right to protest.” Questions may be asked after the performance piece.


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February 24, Sunday

Drawing Insights, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Artistic director of Ateneo Art Gallery Maria Victoria “Boots” Herrera discusses the importance of drawing in the artist’s process and why masters deem a drawing with high regard. She will also be extending her research on Mauro Malang Santos for the talk.

Nonon Padilla and Judy Freya Sibayan in Conversation On the Art Practice of Ray Albano, 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.


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The late artist and curator Ray Albano

This is a chance for the younger generation to get to know former CCP Art Museum director Ray Albano from the two people who knew him well. Judy Sibayan, an artist and curator, talks about her former mentor and teacher, so will Nonon Padilla, who took his role as director after Albano’s death in 1985.

A Conversation on David Medalla with Adam Nankervis, Purissima Benitez Johannot, and Daniel Kupferberg, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.


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David Medalla

It’s a difficult task but these three experts will do what they can to sum up the extensive body of work David Medalla has contributed to Philippine art in his career, which spans over 50 years.

 


OUTSIDE THE FAIR


At the same time as the fair, galleries across the city will be holding exhibitions, not necessarily related to the event but complement the interest. There are also partner establishments around the metro that offer exclusive deals in light of the event. These include special menus from Run Rabbit Run and Dr. Wine, discounts from Grace Park and the Alfred at Makati Diamond Residences, and complimentary offerings from Wildflour, among over 30 food and beverage partners that offer perks when you present your Art Fair QR Code, wristband or ticket from February 15 to 24.

You can also see traces of the fair around the city through installations planted in public. Japanese artist Shinji Ohmaki has installed a towering sphere at the Ayala Tower called “Gravity and Grace.” He constructed the globe from white steel sheets, which glows from the inside and illuminates intricate patterns inspired by nature. Mere meters away, a projection of the “Birth of Venus” by G.A, Fallarme, Henk-Gert, and Gedrocks Roldan is flashed against the iconic fountain of Peninsula Manila. At the neighboring Greenbelt Park, Neal Oshima and Olivia d’Aboville display a second act to their “Plastics in the Ocean” installation, which clearly sends the message that an “environmental Armageddon” is upon us and everyone must do what they can to save the oceans.

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Olivia d'Aboville's work uses plastic to send a powerful message about the environment

Learn more about 10 Days of Art here.

From February 23 to 24, the fair hosts two tours per day to the National Museum of Natural History for P500 for Museum Foundation of the Philippines (MFPI) members and P600 for non-members. These tours will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on both days. The tours are inclusive of transportation. Find out how to reserve your slot here.

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INSIDER TIPS


A few useful tips you need to know before going to the fair:

1. Unlike its past editions, all special projects will be consolidated on one floor so you won’t need to hop from one floor to another to see the installations.

2. If you’re coming from one of the nearby malls or parking there, you can easily access The Link through a new bridge from the third floor of Landmark that will take you to the fourth floor of The Link carpark, where the registration area is located. This scenic new pathway is where you can get a glimpse of Olivia d’Aboville and Neal Oshima’s collaborative piece, “Plastics in our Ocean.”

3. The bag depository and tour desks are both on the fourth floor. The fair organizers highly discourage bringing along bulky items such as backpacks to the exhibition area.

4. The fair holds daily tours from Feb. 22 to 24. These hour-long tours will be held from 11 a.m. to 12 noon and can only accommodate 20 participants at a time. Reserve a slot. If you wish to have your own group tour, you can request one outside the given schedule through the tours desk.

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5. Art Fair Philippines merchandise such as T-shirts and tote bags will be sold on the grounds.


Some of the branded merchandise sold at the fair

 

6. Buy your tickets online if you want to avoid queues. Otherwise, tickets will also be sold on the fourth floor. Tickets are currently available on the official Art Fair Philippines website for P350 per day. Students with valid IDs may avail of a special rate of P150, while students from Makati may purchase a ticket for P100. Art Fair Philippines will be open to the public from February 22 to 24. 

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For more information, visit artfairphilippines.com and follow @artfairph on Instagram and facebook.com/artfairph on Facebook.

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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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