The trio behind the two successful annually held art fairs—Art Fair Philippines and Art In The Park—mounts another unique fair on October 27 to 29 at the Peninsula Manila in Makati City.
Aptly called “The Nonesuch: Fine Collectibles and Rarities,” the new fair organized by the Philippine Art Events, Inc. team—Trickie Lopa, Lisa Periquet, and Dindin Araneta—features a selection of art, antiques, furniture, jewelry, books, maps, prints, and rare objects that are vetted and are of the highest quality–making it distinctive from other fairs.
“Nonesuch is a term to denote the pinnacle; to say that there is nothing equal to it, and that is the kind of fair we wanted to present,” Lopa shared.
“We are creating a platform for the antiques and collectibles… For this one, we have fine arts collectibles, and other objects, which you will not see in our other two fairs,” Araneta also said.
The Nonesuch was patterned after well-known fine arts fair abroad like the Masterpiece London, and The European Fine Arts Fair happening in Maastricht, Netherlands every year.
“With our fair here, we’ve gotten the cream of the crop exhibitors to show what they have,” Periquet said.
Exhibitors include Gallery Deus, Gallery Joshua, Gallery of Prints, Leon Gallery, Maria Angelica Rare Finds, Maria Closa, Natalya Lagdameo, Nicole Whisenhunt, Osmundo, Tawalisi Antiques, and Unang Panahon.
In a preview of the upcoming fair, Leon Esposo of Unang Panahon shared some of their collectibles to be showcased on the fair. It includes an 18th century scapular necklace and tamburin necklaces made from rose gold.
Esposo said their items can be bought for Php 8,000 while their most expensive collectible, an excavated gold from Agusan, amounts to more than a million.
Floy Quintos of Gallery Deus also showed the the 18th to 19th century-dated pilakid, which were worn asymmetrically like a bandolier by Kalinga women. Quintos shared that what’s interesting in these bead bandoliers is that the beads came from Venice, India, China, Afghanistan, and Africa–reflecting centuries of trade.
Kelly Belbin of Gallery of Prints meanwhile showed a rare 17th-century Philippine map, and a 1748-dated book about the Philippines written in German by Petro Probst. The rare book contains travel notes and letters of Jesuit missionaries.
Attracting the young crowd
Art Fair Philippines and Art in the Park helped in drawing more attention into the local modern and contemporary art scene, and had successfully drawn thousands of young audiences every year.
Araneta shared that Nonesuch,envisioned to be an annual fair, also aims engage the interest especially of the youth in revisiting our country’s decorative art traditions.
Apart from highlighting the aesthetics of this tradition, The Nonesuch highlights each object’s aesthetic, historical, and collectible aspects as staged in a special setting by award-winning set designer Gino Gonzales.
He said, “We wanted to create an interest among the younger people that’s one. So that was the challenge of presenting old objects–we somehow thought that this cannot be done the way most antique fairs are being done, where there’s always this ‘tiangge’ look where everything is piled up.
It has a kind of freshness to it and modernity also. A lot of the spaces we curated it like a gallery space, like an exhibit but at the same time, we have to be grounded in the past because that’s where these all came from.”
Art talks: The Nonesuch Salon
Besides the selling fair, The Nonesuch Salon will present a series of talks by historian, teacher, and journalist Ambeth Ocampo, who will talk about collecting and stewardship; Quintos, who specializes in traditional art and the culture of the indigenous people, will give a lecture on Ifugao bale or the Ifugao house; culture and heritage advocate, and executive director of the National Archives, Ino Manalo, will discuss religious urna or home altars; and Emmanuel Breguet, historian and seventh-generation descendant of Abraham Louis Breguet, founder of Breguet France, a Swiss luxury watch brand, will be launching a new edition of the book “Breguet, Watchmakers Since 1775.