Arts & Culture

8 Artists to Watch at Art Fair Philippines 2019

Discover some artists who continue to rise at this year's fair.
IMAGE PAU GUEVARRA; JENNIE CASTILLO
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Art Fair Philippines is always an amazing collision of art, culture, technology, and people. With each passing year, the fair just seems to get better and better. But what really makes Art Fair dynamic are the hundreds of artists that are sharing their works. Trickie Lopa, one of the co-founders, says that this year might just be one of their strongest lineups. Here, in no particular order, are the artists you need to look out for this week.

Ryan Villamael


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Behold A City (2015) by Ryan Villamael

Ryan Villamael makes intricate paper sculptures that range from the whimsical to the haunting. At this year’s Art Fair, Villamael is part of the ARTFAIRPH/Projects, a showcase of work from artists who have made an impact in a critical and commercial sense. His work, Behold A City, is a reconstruction of pre-war Manila and his own love letter to the city.

More: Works That Wow: Your First Look at Art Fair Philippines 2019

Dina Gadia

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Using images from themes such as gender, sexuality, and identity, mixed media artist Dina Gadia makes works that shed light on issues that are rarely discussed. Gadia references commercial and popular culture which, through her, takes on a more whimsical approach. Represented by Silverlens Galleries, Gadia was one of the shortlisted artists for the Fernando Zóbel Awards for Visual Arts in 2018. She has exhibited in both local and international shows since 2005.

Allan Balisi

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There’s always a hint of sadness, despair, and melancholia in Allan Balisi’s work. This, perhaps, comes from his referential use of nostalgic images in his works. Balisi has had more than 10 solo shows, and has been shortlisted for the Ateneo Art Awards in 2009 and 2013.

Gab Ferrer

Gab Ferrer started exhibiting in 2013, and she’s been in over 11 group exhibitions since then. She was most recently involved in "Tirada: 50 Years of Philippine Printmaking 1968-2018" at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Currently, she’s a student at the UP Diliman College of Fine Arts.

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Dennis Bato


Consequence by Dennis Bato

It was only after graduating from architecture in college that Dennis Bato realized he wanted to pursue his passion and become a full-time artist. He makes his view of the streets come alive in his work.

Jill Paz

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Born in the Philippines, Jill Paz moved to the U.S. the year after her birth. Through her work, Paz explores her heritage through the work of her great grand-uncle Félix Resurrección Hidalgo using cardboard as a medium. Locally, she first exhibited in Archivo 1984 and today, she is represented by 1335Mabini.

Guerrero Habulan


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Another One Bites the Dust (2019) by Guerrero Habulan

As the son of celebrated artist Renato Habulan, figurative artist Guerrero Habulan grew up with a love of the arts. From there, he learned how to do draw even before undertaking formal training. Through his signature pop surrealist style, he makes realism into his own by giving it an eye-catching and colorful turn.

Pow Martinez

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An interdisciplinary artist, Pow Martinez’s range extends from traditional media to sound and sculptural installations. For his exhibition 1 Billion Years, he received an Ateneo Art Award. Martinez exhibits internationally in New York, Berlin, Australia, and Hong Kong.

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Paolo Chua
Paolo Chua is a style writer based in Manila. He writes about fashion, trends, shopping, current news, and more for Townandcountry.ph.
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