From car park to art space: Art Fair Philippines 2014

Carol Ramoran
Now on its second year, Art Fair Philippines aims to bring art closer to everyone

PINOY CREATIVITY. Jovy Mallari's 'A Sword of a Thousand Truths' is among the featured Filipino artwork in this year's Art Fair Philippines. Photo provided by fair organizers

MANILA, Philippines – This February, a space in the heart of Makati will be transformed into an art stretch that is set to be a welcome sight to passersby in the area.

Now on its second year, Art Fair Philippines 2014 will be showcasing what they call as “the best in Filipino contemporary art” from February 20-23 at The Link Carpark in Makati City. Architects from Leandro V. Locsin Partners and designer Kenneth Cobonpue will be helping the fair’s organizers transform The Link car park building located between the Makati Shangri-La Hotel and the Landmark Department Store in Makati City into a contemporary art gallery.

One of the fair’s organizers, Trickie Lopa, highlights the presence of art in a Filipino’s daily life, as well as our natural inclination to the arts. “Filipinos are creative by nature. It’s in our blood,” she says.

The universal experience

It isn’t always about the sale, says Lopa: “Appreciating art is not limited to just acquiring it but also just by viewing and appreciating it. It’s a universal experience for the average Filipino.”

A painting, a sculpture, or an installation – how do you feel when you see a painting that speaks to you, that moves you? Lopa says that there is nothing more exhilarating than encountering a piece that affects her so intensely. She, along with the Art Fair Philippines team, is looking into sharing that feeling with their visitors this month – including everyone from art collectors and curators, to young professionals and students.

“Some people think that art exhibits are so stiff, that you’re meant to be on your best behavior. But we actually want to see young people and to show them what Filipinos are capable of creating. We want to see a 12-year-old stop in his tracks when he sees a piece and go ‘Wow!'” she added.

A part of the reason why tickets to the Art Fair Philippines were priced at P150, P50 for students, and even free for Makati CIty students, is to show how art can be accessible to everyone.

From one floor in 2013, the fair this year also expands to a second floor area of the car park. It will be featuring more galleries and installations especially commissioned for the fair as well as a lecture suite and a room dedicated to video art.

Broadening knowledge

Fine arts auction house Christie’s will host the lecture series of the fair called “Christie’s Art Forum.” The forum will focus on broadening knowledge for Southeast Asian contemporary art and art historical movements. A panel discussion with National Artist Ben Cabrera, Geraldine Javier, and Mark Justiniani will also take place on on February 20 from 3-4pm. They will also be bringing in art experts to discuss the trends in Filipino art and how it’s making its way to the global stage. 

Emphasizing local talent, installations especially made for the fair will include works by Rodel Tapaya, a reception area piece by Jose John Santos III, interactive sports-inspired work by Louie Cordero, and silk-screened scarves and graphic wallpaper from UK-trained artist Pio Abad.

Solo exhibitions by Marina Cruz, Geraldine Javier, and Ronald Ventura will also be featured.

A parallel project of the organizers is the “Urban Art Project,” which will be placing various pieces of art in strategic locations within the Makati Commercial Center, one of which is Leeroy New’s piece Entropy, under the overpass connecting Landmark to Greenbelt.

28 Galleries are set to bring in works by various Filipino artists to the fair:

  • Altro Mondo 
  • Archivo 1984 Gallery 
  • Art Cube 
  • Art Informal 
  • Avellana Art Gallery
  • Blanc
  • Boston Gallery 
  • Crucible Gallery 
  • Equator Art Projects 
  • Finale Art File 
  • Galleria Duemila 
  • Light and Space Contemporary
  • Liongoren Gallery 
  • Manila Contemporary 
  • MO Space 
  • NOVA 
  • Now Gallery
  • Pablo
  • Paseo Art Gallery
  • Richard Koh Fine Art 
  • Salcedo Private View
  • Secret Fresh 
  • Silverlens 
  • The Drawing Room 
  • Tin-Aw 
  • West Gallery
  • 1335 Mabini


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