With its total return in its 10th year, Art Fair Philippines 2023 recently concluded its three-day event filled with various activities for art enthusiasts. Held at The Link Ayala Center Makati on Feb. 17 to 19, event attendees basked in multiple exhibits and learned more about the modern and contemporary visual art landscape in the Philippines.
Co-presented by AyalaLand, BPI, and Globe Platinum, the fair held talks from renowned artists in “ArtFairPH/Talks,” workshops for “ArtFairPH/Workshops,” film viewing segments in “ArtFairPH/Film,” and photo and digital exhibits in “ArtFairPH/Photo” and “ArtFairPH/Digital,” respectively. Every floor had several exhibitions coming from different galleries, which displayed their range of talents, each with its specialty mediums. During the event, various oil paintings, tapestry works, photographs, sculptures, interactive artworks, and Non-Fungible Token (NFT) exhibits were one to watch.
An innovative collection
Upon entering The Link via its Bridgeway from Landmark Makati, you’ll be greeted by the works of Art Fair Philippines’ Residency program in partnership with Don Papa Rum. It features art pieces from Filipino artists across disciplines, such as Nicolei Gupit for the Linangan Art Residency, Aaron Kaiser Garcia for Emerging Islands, and James Clar for Butanding Barrio.
Other than regular paintings, distinguished pieces can be found at the event. Street artist Jade Suayan displayed the juxtaposition of creation and destruction in her solo show To Destroy is to Create at Secret Fresh Gallery’s booth. Alongside the enormous spray-painted canvases, there are miniature models of her pieces’ characters. Interactive installation pieces, such as Yeo Kaa’s candy-colored characters stuck in violent states of reality were also featured making the experience more fun and meaningful.
What makes Art Fair Philippines 2023 unique is the inclusion of diverse art mediums. The event includes the “ArtFairPH/Projects” category, showcasing work commissioned for the fair. These include special exhibits like Peter Zimmerman’s rich epoxy paintings and Faye Abantao’s archival works, among others.
Furthermore, the fair incorporated non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the metaverse into art. Works of Filipino artists Mark Constantine Inducil and Skye Nicolas were featured at the exhibit using mounted monitors for attendees to appreciate.
Mixture of Old and New
In an interview with The Benildean, Benildean photographer and lens-based artist Ricardo Cruz Yan II had his Art Fair PH debut with Gravity Art Space’s exhibition “Figurations & Forms.” His work “Innocent Desire” is a collection of photos that tackled his sexual awakening and his process of healing his inner child.
“Beautiful people, beautiful music, objects, experiences that make me inspired to do more beauty,” Yan, an AB PHOTO alumnus and former Benildean Press Corps photographer, said. With his inspiration from watching “The Hunks” on television and seeing male underwear packaging at malls at a young age, he hopes that people who carry the trauma of being judged would feel less alone through his work.
Alongside newcomers, notable exhibitors and artists also came back to the fair. FotoMotoPH, Kantina, Paint, Bukog, Pinto Art Museum, Kaida, Contemporary Gallery, and Village Arts Gallery. These galleries brought back a lively spirit to the journey of seeing art.
Maximizing the space with biophilic designs, a creative connection among neighboring exhibitors is felt, yet there is still a sense of privacy from each exhibitor cube. Art Fair Philippines 2023 displayed works of varying mediums that provide space for different tastes and likes of art enthusiasts and art enjoyers.
With veteran exhibitors and promising young artists existing in one creative space, Art Fair Philippines 2023 provided the Philippine visual art world a chance for collaboration, collective appreciation of artmaking, and the discovery of old and new art mediums.