A look at the country’s flourishing contemporary art scene
Showcasing the best in modern and contemporary Philippine visual art, Art Fair Philippines 2020 happened last February 21 to 23 at The Link in Makati. With 61 exhibitors from the local and international scene, it makes art accessible to the common folk, thereby expanding the audience of Philippine visual art. Art enthusiasts and collectors were treated to various sections, Art Fair PH/Open Studios, Art Fair PH/Projects, Art Fair PH/Talk, Art Fair PH/ Film, Art Fair PH/Photo, with creative spaces outside the mainstream gallery format.
Here’s what you missed:
Jellyfish Kisses pays homage to his previous life in fashion through a liberating and emotional space he transformed into a fantastical walk-in closet—a medley of soft sculptures, objects and wall-based works. It dabbles as a “physical vessel, an emotional haven, a forcefield that embraces every possible expression in the spectrum of gender identity.”
Poklong Anading’s photography work A Calm in the Middle of the Storm involves the participation of various individuals in their own homes, asking them to don a plastic bag and in return, replacing it with a tote bag as a gesture of transference. He doesn’t emphasize the finished product but the concept and process that engendered it. The contemporary artist, whose line of work expands to paintings and installations, “often assumes the roles of observer and collector, turning facts and memories into images and objects, and frequently engages social issues.”
Carlo Villafuerte, this year’s recipient of the Karen H. Montinola grant, achieves a dark and humorous language with his meticulous textile art. The Baguio-based artist displays his multicolored tapestries, created with used clothing from wag-wagan, otherwise known as ukay-ukay. He transforms drab scraps of cloth into vivid and figurative creations.
Irresistible Grace by Julie Lluch, curated by Ricky Francisco, is a brief summary of her body of work. The celebrated sculptress paints a picture of our nation’s history with heroes, politicians and personalities intermingling with one another. What she first intended as an introspection of her work “parallels the dystopic state of our nation, and a product of our tumultuous histories.”
American artist Sol LeWitt’s scattered pieces invite the commonplace viewer to serve as drafters, his commitment to “the democratic hand.” The late artist is iconic for helping establish Conceptual Art and Minimalism, advocating art through his large-scale drawings. He believes that “the idea becomes a machine that makes the art.”
Learn more about Art Fair Philippines here.
Photography Elisa Aquino
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver