Arts and Culture

Art Fair Philippines 2016: 7 exciting ways it’s aiming to be the ‘world’s window to Philippine art’

'Cloud Child' by Iyan De Jesus from Vinyl on Vinyl Gallery. Photo courtesy of Art Fair Philippines.

‘Cloud Child’ by Iyan De Jesus from Vinyl on Vinyl Gallery. Photo courtesy of Art Fair Philippines.

As the arts month draws closer, the excitement is also building up for the annual Art Fair Philippines, still at The Link car park, on February 18 to 21.

Now on its fourth year, this year’s event aims to attract a wider audience as it carries the theme, “World’s window to Philippine art.”

Trickie Lopa, one of the organizers of Art Fair Philippines said in a recent press conference, “We’ve invested major efforts to move this fourth edition forward because we’ve always envisioned it as providing the world’s window into Philippine arts. A platform that allows Filipino artists to shine and state their claim as key players of the Southeast Asian art scene. We feel we’ve contributed to focusing on Philippine arts and have made this event an important date in the region’s art calendar.”

“We brought art to a wider audience. Our stats alone bare this out. There is an increase in our attendance by 60% from 2014 to 2015, and we’re hoping to match that this year,” she added as she mentioned that last year, the fair recorded 16, 000 visitors during its three-day run.

Christian Capelli, country head of Julius Baer Bank, one of the co-presentors of Art Fair Philippines, with Philippine Art Events Inc. members Dindin Araneta, Lisa Periquet, and trickie Lopa. Photo by Romsanne Ortiguero,

Christian Capelli, country head of Julius Baer Bank, one of the co-presentors of Art Fair Philippines, with Philippine Art Events Inc. members Dindin Araneta, Lisa Periquet, and trickie Lopa. Photo by Romsanne Ortiguero,

Dindin Araneta and Lisa Periquet, Lopa’s co-organizers, shared that there has also been a marked increase in the number of young visitors at the fair.

“We get seasoned art collectors, art connoisseurs, the young, working people, families, and students.  We really increased our audience here in the Philippines. The gallery collectors that come in are much younger, and we’d like to think we have a hand in doing that,” Lopa said.

And with an increased audience, the organizers shared that besides the exciting offerings of artists this year, art students and aficionados will also enjoy the fair’s educational talks, tours, and other parallel events with other art institutions.

Meanwhile, here are the exciting reasons why you should be at Art Fair Philippines next month:

Brisbane-based Filipino artists Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan's work is one of the highlights of this year's fair. Photo courtesy of Art Fair Philippines.

Brisbane-based Filipino artists Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan’s work is one of the highlights of this year’s fair. Photo courtesy of Art Fair Philippines.

1. A special exhibit featuring Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan and co-presented by Bench
Described by Lopa as “the darlings of the curators” as their collections are in significant art museums around the world, Brisbane-based Filipino artists, the Aquilizan couple are headlining this year’s special exhibit. Joining the Aquilizans are other notable artists including Mark Justiniani, Martha Atienza, Nona Garcia, At Maculangan, Raffy Napay, Mac Valdezco, and Pamela Yan Santos.

2. More art shows spotlighting rising and established artists.
From 33 galleries in 2015, this year’s fair features 40 galleries from Metro Manila as well as galleries from neighboring Southeast Asian countries incluing Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

The list of participating galleries includes 1335 Mabini, Altro Mondo Arte Contemporanea, Archivo 1984 Gallery, Arndt, Art Cube Artesan Gallery + Studio, ArtInformal, Art Verite Gallery, Avellana Art Gallery, Blanc, Boston Art Gallery, CANVAS, Edouard Malingue Gallery, Equator Art Projects, Finale Art File, Gajah Gallery, Galeria Cayon, Galleria Duemila, Galerie Michael Janssen, Galerie Stephanie, Galerie Anna, Gallery Kogure, Gallery Orange, J Studio, MO_Space, Nunu Fine Art, PABLO< Paseo Art Gallery, Pinto Art Gallery, Salcedo Private View, Secret Fresh, Silverlens, TAKSU Gallery, The Crucible, The Drawing Room, Tin-Aw Art Gallery, Vinyl on Vinyl, west Gallery, Yavuz Gallery, and YOD Gallery.

3. Engaging education talks by the experts
As part of this year’s expansion, the fifth floor of the car park is dedicated as the lecture lounge, where twice a day lectures are to be held every 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The lecture series are in partnership with Ateneo Art Gallery.

Periquet shared, “The talks, just like the art fair, would focus on things that people want to learn about contemporary art because our audience are not just collectors, it’s also people who want to know more about art; young people who just got into collecting.”

“We’ve confirmed a panel on installation art, and we also have (a panel on) contemporary photography,” she added.

4. A lounging area to indulge in food, wine, and art chats
When there are no lectures in between, the lecture lounge also has art publications that the public can browse. There is a bar with wine, coffee, and other refreshments for guests who want to relax while reading.

5. Art shows mounted outside The Link
Another educational aspect of the fair dubbed as “Beyond the Link” are art tours to different art institutions around the metro including: the Cultural Center of Philippines, Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, and Metropolitan Museum in Manila; and Vargas Museum and Ateneo Art Gallery in Quezon City among many others.

Pre-booking is advised by the organizers. For the tour schedules, see:

6. The works of photography masters Salgado, Leibovitz, et. al.
Part of the parallel events featured in this year’s art fair is an exhibit featuring five iconic photographers: Sebastião Salgado, Steve McCurry, Robert Polidori, Edward Burtynsky, and Annie Leibovitz, which opens on February 16 at the Ayala Museum.

The exhibit dubbed as “The World We Live In: Through the Lens of Contemporary Photography” depicts key issues of contemporary culture through photography.

7. Christie’s Art Forum
Like the previous year, Art Fair Philippines collaborated with Christie’s for a series of artist talks, panels and lectures on topics related to Asian and international art.