Taking things up a notch, as in literally on a ceiling and by a façade, Art Fair Philippines promises to be even more innovative and cutting-edge art exhibition this year.
If you haven’t seen or heard by now, we suspect you even teared up a little, the prodigal son of local show business, John Lloyd Cruz, and his once-upon-a-time perennial onscreen partner, Bea Alonzo, reunited at 10 Days of Art, the official kick-off for this year’s Art Fair Philippines season. More than just a ceremonial coming together in the name of their iconic pop culture silver screen standard, One More Chance, which was screened at Ayala Tower One in Makati, where the film was projected on the ceiling of the fountain area, the two surprised moviegoers with a live script reading of another critically-acclaimed blockbuster hit, That Thing Called Tadhana by Antoinette Jadaone.
Aptly christened, The Unconfined Cinema: An Expanded Cinema Project, the Erwin Romulo, Philbert Dy, and Teddy Co-curated cinematic experience was a fitting opening salvo to Art Fair Philippines, which even if we go with just this indicative moment, is already shaping up to be bigger, better, and bolder in its efforts to elevate, promote, and cultivate the vibrant and thriving art scene in the country. And we are barely even getting started.
To jump-start the premier art exhibition of the Philippines, Art Fair PH begins with a collaborative undertaking that will literally take art in and around the Makati Central Business District, where participating galleries, museums, bars, restaurants, and retail establishments will play host to a series of events that take art beyond the fair’s home at The Link in Ayala Center, Makati. Also, from February 14 to February 23, the seven-level façade will light up with a projection mapping display by Manila-based projection designer G.A. Fallarme and Dutch artist Henk-Gert Lenten, which will feature animated videos of iconic works exhibited over the 8-year history of Art Fair Philippines.
The official exhibition, which opens on February 21-23, has seen many people walk through the elevators and its labyrinthine layout for years now, bringing together the most casual enthusiast to hardcore collectors in one space to celebrate the all-encompassing thrill of art in its many forms. This year, a lot of new things are being introduced to give more body to just going around and appreciating Philippine art at every nook and cranny. With more opportunities to immerse guests in the artistic experience, ArtFairPH is set to let us in on ArtFairPH/Open Studios, a group of workshops under the helm of respected practitioners in arts and culture such as photographers Paco Guerrero, Neil Oshima, Mark Nicdao, wooden furniture designer Benji Reyes, and artists Claude Tayag, Alexis Oshima, Angela Silva, and Rita Gudino; ArtFairPH/Incubators, a series of creative spaces outside the main gallery format simulating an interactive beehive-like environment featuring art/n23, Giatay, Limbo, Loadnadito projects, Project 20, and Signum; ArtFairPH/Talks, a series of panel discussions on Onib Olmedo and Giorgio Guglielmino’s book, The Originals; ArtFairPH/Projects, an undertaking together with art consultant Norman Crisologo, which aims to bring to the fore interactive and through-provoking installations by internationally established Filipino visual artists such as Onib Olmedo, Salvador Joel Alonday, Perry Argel, Jaime De Guzman, Roedil Joe Geraldo, Jellyfish Kisses, Gene Paul Martin, Neil Pasilan, Karen H. Montinola 2020 Recipient Carlo Villafuerte, and New York-based curator and art historian, Carina Evanglista; ArtFairPH/Photo, which is an effort to uplift photography as a legitimate contemporary art form featuring the evocative works of Poklong Anading, art/n23, bio | trans | forms , Denise Weldon | Tom Epperson Photographs, Luzviminda, Silverlens Photo, Strange Fruit, and Tarzeer Pictures; and the aforementioned ArtFairPH/Film, a celebration of the last 100 years of Philippine cinema and the possibilities of the next hundred in feature-length and short films, as well as of the narrative and experimental, and documentary and animation sort.
Dedicated in its efforts to consciously and consistently expand the audience of visual art in the talent-rich country, Art Fair Philippines continues to make good on its profound mission and vision with a whopping selection of 61 exhibitors from the Philippines such as 1335 Mabini / GMJ, Altro Mondo Gallery, ARCHIVO 1984, Art Cube, Art Underground, Art Verité, Artery Art Space, art/n23, Association of Pinoyprintmakers, Avellana Art Gallery, bio | trans | forms, Boston Art Gallery, CANVAS, Denise Weldon | Tom Epperson Photographs, District Gallery, Eskinita Art Gallery, Galerie Roberto, Gallery of Fine Arts, Galerie Stephanie, Giatay, J Studio, Kaida Contemporary, León Gallery, Limbo, Loadnadito projects, Luzviminda, Mariyah Gallery, METRO, Mono8, Orange Project, Paseo Art Gallery, Pintô Art Museum, Project 20, Salcedo Private View, Secret Fresh, Signum, Silverlens, Strange Fruit, Tarzeer Pictures, Tin-aw Art Gallery, Tropical Futures Institute, and Ysobel Art Gallery, as well as a distinct roster of foreign galleries including Art Porters Gallery (Singapore), Artemis Art (Malaysia), Cayón (Spain), ENERGY FIELD (Japan), G13 Gallery (Malaysia), Gajah Gallery (Singapore), GALERIE OVO (Taiwan), Gallery Kogure (Japan), Hanada Gallery (Japan), Kobayashi Gallery (Japan), La Lanta Fine Art (Thailand), Mind Set Art Center (Singapore), Number1 Gallery (Thailand), Nunu Fine Art (Taiwan), SHUKADO (Japan), Vin Gallery (Vietnam), Yavuz Gallery (Singapore), YOD Gallery + Asian Art Center (Japan). The Italian embassy is also bringing Galleria Tiziana di Caro, an art gallery from Naples, Italy.
A tradition to many, this explosive and pleasantly overwhelming visceral union of art in the Philippines is an unparalleled effort that has since broadened and democratized a segment of our creative imprint that has long been guarded and cordoned off for only a select few. Through Art Fair Philippines, our well of artistic wisdom and trove of talents sees an avenue to be understood and appreciated by many, as art essentially is supposed to be.
For more information, please visit the Art Fair Philippines website and follow Art Fair Philippines on Instagram and Facebook. Fair tickets, which can be purchased in advance on their website, will also be available at the reception area of Art Fair Philippines from February 21 to 23.