11 artists to look forward to at Art Fair Philippines 2019

Amanda T. Lago

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

11 artists to look forward to at Art Fair Philippines 2019

Alecs Ongcal

From icons like Malang and Fernando Botero to contemporary artists like Olivia d'Aboville and MM Yu, keep an eye out for this year's ARTFAIRPH/PROJECTS

MANILA, Philippines – Another Art Fair Philippines is set to open, and as usual the fair boasts a lineup that art enthusiasts will love. (IN PHOTOS: A first look at Art Fair Philippines 2018)

The ARTFAIRPH/PROJECTS section – which showcases work commissioned especially for the fair – is particularly exciting for the 2019 fair, with both established and iconic artists showcasing their work alongside young talents.

Even more, this year the artists explore themes of place, memory, and identity, and use all kinds of media, including found objects, wood, and even plastic trash. A couple of participative works will also be part of the lineup, giving fair-goers a lot of opportunity to interact with the artwork and understand it in an even more personal way.

These 11 artists and their works will be featured in the 2019 ARTFAIRPH/PROJECTS (and what a lineup it is!):

David Medalla
“A Stitch in Time”

Photo courtesy of Art Fair Philippines

After living his younger years as an artist in cities like London, New York, and Paris, David Medalla is now back in Manila and is exploring the idea of memory and personal history as he restages his work “A Stitch in Time.”

The piece is a participatory work anchored on a 15-meter-long canvas suspended as an “inverted rainbow,” on which viewers are free to attach their own keepsakes and curios. The idea behind the work can be traced to David’s youth, when he would give handkerchiefs to his lovers and tell them they could stitch any of their treasured objects on it. The work, which has been done all over the world, is finally coming home to Manila as it is unveiled at the Art Fair. 

Ray Albano
“Step on the Sand and Make Footprints”

Photo courtesy of Art Fair Philippines

The late Ray Albano may have died before his time (he was 38 years old) but his talent continues to live on through his art. Ray dabbled in art of all kinds, from painting, to photography, to installations, to performance art – and he was known for being experimental no matter what the form.

His seminal work “Step on the Sand and Make Footprints” – first submitted and awarded at the Tokyo Biennale in 1974 – will be recreated at Art Fair as it was originally done by the artist. The interactive installation is centered on a large sandbox, on which viewers are invited to do exactly as the piece’s title says, and perhaps discover something new about themselves, or humanity – or simply have fun. 

Liv Vinluan
“Nung Gambalain Yung Sayawan/The Disruption of A Dance”

Photo courtesy of Art Fair Philippines

A single roll of paper transformed into a 3D structure and suspended from the air – this is what Liv Vinluan does for her piece, in which she brings a textile quality to paper. 

While young (she was born in 1987), Liv is already an accomplished artist, and has already been nominated and shortlisted for several art prizes. Her work, which includes paintings and mixed media pieces, have become known for having elements of the celestial and the surreal. She is the recipient of the Karen H Montinola Grant, which is given by the family in memory of a collector who championed emerging artists.

Ryan Villamael
“Behold A City”

Photo courtesy of Art Fair Philippines

Ryan Villamael writes a love letter to Manila with this piece, in which he reimagines and recreates the city before it was ravaged by World War II, using paper cutouts, silhouettes, and the play of light and shadow. The piece was first exhibited at the Silverlens Gallery in 2015.

Born in 1987, Ryan is among the new generation of Filipino artists now making waves in the local art scene. Known for his elegant and ingenious use of paper for sculptures, installations, and cutouts, Ryan has brought his pieces to some of the most prestigious shows around the globe, including Art Basel, and the Singapore Biennale.

Oca Villamiel
“Cheap Medicine”

Photo courtesy of Art Fair Philippines

Known for using materials carefully collected from rural and urban spaces, Oscar “Oca” Villamiel’s body of work is one that can be described as quirky. But beyond that, his works also bear the artist’s political and social discontent. 

His installation “Cheap Medicine” is done in the same vein, made up of over 200 “heads” made of coconut shells and topped off with a wild mane of abaca fiber hair, set atop bamboo poles driven into a concrete base. Each head is given a distinct face held in an expression of frenzied euphoria – an exploration of the idea of laughter used to mask existential pain. 

Fernando Botero
“Botero in Asia”

Photo courtesy of Art Fair Philippines

One of Latin America’s most prominent artists, Fernando Botero is known for his use of rich, bright colors, depicting scenes from everyday life in his hometown of Medellin, Colombia, and for originating the style of Boterismo, where figures are depicted to have large, exaggerated proportions. 

Fernando’s works from the 1970s to present will be displayed in all their Boterismo glory in a capsule retrospective marking the first time the artist is exhibiting in the Philippines.

Ian Fabro
“Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso”

Photo courtesy of Art Fair Philippines

Ian Fabro nods to Hieronymous Bosch with his Art Fair triptych titled “Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso.” The elaborate work is a product of Ian’s unique and complex process, which involves sketching drawings, tearing them up, and reassembling them with staple wire. 

Born in 1993, the young artist uses his work to delve into the intersection of the divine and the mundane, the sacred and the profane. His art has been shown at ARNDT in Singapore, as well as Light and Space Contemporary, Artinformal, and the Jorge Vargas Museum at the University of the Philippines.

Christina Quisumbing Ramilo
“Forest for the Trees”

Photo courtesy of Art Fair Philippines

Christina “Ling” Quisumbing Ramilo repurposes found objects in her art, using everything from squares of sandpaper, to a collection of dental casts, shown in their original forms. Her installations have been exhibited at the Taiwan East Coast Land Festival, Artinformal, and the Lopez Museum, to name a few.

In “Forest for the Trees,” the collector in Ling is in full force as she creates a library of books made of wood reclaimed from old houses. The work itself can be read like a book as it bears the origin stories of the pieces of wood used by the artist. 

“Malang’s Women”

Photo courtesy of Art Fair Philippines

Mauro Malang Santos may have died in 2017, but the iconic artist lives on in the generous collection of artwork he left behind. Malang became well-loved for his vibrant paintings of everyday life in Manila, but also for his depictions of women – mothers, sisters, devotees rendered in that signature Malang style. (READ: Malang took painting – and life – lightly

Malang’s women are taking the spotlight in this Art Fair exhibition, curated by Soler Santos, Malang’s son and an accomplished artist himself. The exhibit is made up completely of drawings made in the ’80s and ’90s, featuring a variety of media, from charcoal to gouache, from pencil to ink. Kept as a family treasure through the years, it’s the first time these particular works will be assembled and exhibited. 

Olivia d’Aboville
“Everything, Everywhere, Everyone”

Photo courtesy of Art Fair Philippines

Plastic and the ocean – these are two elements that often turn up in Olivia d’Aboville’s work. The French-Filipina artist’s sculptures and installations often depict the fluorescent, fluid beauty of the underwater world, while using the very materials that are known to pollute it – calling attention to just how wide the impact of human trash is. She’s brought her work all over the world, from Malasimbo in Puerto Galera, to exhibitions in Paris, Lyon, Hong Kong, and New York.

In “Everything, Everywhere, Everyone,” she anchors her work on a net made of countless discarded wrappers, evoking the tidal wave of plastic taking over the ocean. 


Photo courtesy of Art Fair Philippines

MM Yu has taken the art of photography to new heights, using it not only to document the world, but also to tinker with the medium itself. Her photography often captures urban life at its most whimsical and most coincidental. 

In “Subject/Object,” MM takes photos of objects from artists’ studios as her way of chronicling their art. The exhibit, which leads the Art Fair’s photography section, is arranged in no apparent chronological or thematic order, giving the viewer a fresh perspective on the local art world. 

More to look forward to

Of course, these 11 artists and works are not the only ones you can expect to see at Art Fair. The exhibition, which takes over all 6 levels of The Link carpark in Makati City, will see 55 galleries exhibiting artwork. 

There will also be a special section showcasing photography, as well as a series of talks covering everything from contemporary art practice, to taxes for creatives. 

Art Fair Philippines 2019 will run from February 22 to 24. Tickets are available on artfairphilippines.com. – Rappler.com

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Amanda T. Lago

After avoiding long-term jobs in favor of travelling the world, Amanda finally learned to commit when she joined Rappler in July 2017. As a lifestyle and entertainment reporter, she writes about music, culture, and the occasional showbiz drama. She also hosts Rappler Live Jam, where she sometimes tries her best not to fan-girl on camera.