Art For All — Art Fair PH 2019
From humble beginnings (through its progenitor, Art in the Park), Art Fair Philippines has now become a giant in the local art scene. This once-a-year event brings together art lovers from all around the world and all walks of life. Philippine Tatler got to visit ahead of the opening tommorow and explore the vast multi-storey venue. From classics and masters to contempory and conceptual pieces, Art Fair has a lot to offer any visitor. The fourth floor now houses all commissioned and highlighted artists in one floor (as opposed to previous years where they were scattered across levels). This curatorial decision allows visitors to get a feel of the artistic vision behind this year's fair.
Among these works were Olivia D'aboville's Catch of the Day, a huge drapery of pieces of plastic sewn together with a fishing net. A poignant statement of sustainability and trash, Catch of the Day is a humbling reminder of the amount of waste that goes to the oceans. Not to miss is Fernando Botero's select pieces on display — the Medellin local is best known for his rounded shapes and exagerated silhouettes. For those interested in pastiche and photography, the MM Yu booth brings together multiple art mediums mixed with "found art". The photo-exhibit wraps around three walls and one can take their time to see and appreciate every detail or piece. Which is one of the more important things to remember when visiting the fair — its best to take in the details and be in the moment rather than be on your phone to take photos. Although selfies are not discouraged, Art Fair organisers request that photo-takers make sure that they're not blocking anyone's view.
One of the larger installations in the fair is David Medalla's A Stitch in Time, which allows visitors to be part of the artwork. People are asked to donate/ share a small memorabilia that they will sew into the large cloth in the middle of the room — as the fair goes one, the piece evolves. When visiting, perhaps bring something to add to Medalla's piece? Another striking installation was Ryan Villamael's Behold A City, paper cut-outs of old Manila buildings positioned on a map (of what one can assume as Metro Manila) formed with mirrors. A beautiful play and juxtaposition of light and darkness, this exhibit evokes a mix of nostalgia and awe.
There is much to behold on the fourth floor of The Link where Art Fair's curatorial vision is best observed and absorbed. There is attention in the mixing of past and present — new media and classic visual art. This can be seen as an interpretation of Philippine society itself: a mix of eccentricities, visions, and voices. The rest of the floors are home to a mix of local and foreign art galleries (36 local galleries and 16 renowned international galleries from Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, and Taiwan).
If you're planning to visit, you'll be glad to know that there are now more places to sit, enjoy food and drinks. If you've been before, you're surely familiar with the long lesuirely walk that awaits when you traverse the several floors — each one engaging as the next. There is much to see and much more to talk about when absorbing all the works and installations featured. It's best to wear comfy shoes and enter with an open mind. Make sure to explore all that the fair has to offer when you visit tomorrow until Sunday.
To get a closer look at what awaits you, watch our video here:
For more information, please visit the Art Fair Philippines website and follow Art Fair Philippines on Instagram (@artfairph) and Facebook. Art Fair Philippines 2019 is co-presented by Ayala Land, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Globe Platinum, and Julius Baer. The fair is also sponsored by AC Automotive, Ayala Land Premier, Make It Makati, and Don Papa. Its official hotel partners are Fairmont and Raffles Makati, and Holiday Inn and Suites.
- Videography Kryss Rubio
- Words Dorynna Untivero