Photo By Yobhel Valenzuela
Photo By Yobhel Valenzuela.

Unveiling the best of modern and contemporary art in Art Fair Philippines 2024

Transcending modern and contemporary art, Art Fair Philippines 2024 brings in unique experiences from diverse backgrounds through creativity.

By Renee Aguila | Tuesday, 5 March 2024

Housing over 50 exhibitors and spanning five floors at The Link Ayala Center Makati, Art Fair Philippines 2024 graced the art scene once again on Feb. 16 to 18. The fair offered various exhibitions and activities from both the local and international art scene for attendees. 


As a premier platform for exhibiting and selling the best in modern and contemporary Philippine visual arts, the event aims to mirror the vibrant local art scene and continues to generate support for Filipino art practitioners. Alongside Filipino galleries and artists, exhibitors hailing from other countries also showcased their works at Art Fair Philippines 2024. 


Each exhibit opened a door into a peculiar world of various art styles and mediums. Moreover, the event also had activities such as talks from renowned artists in “ArtFairPH/Talks,” workshops under “ArtFairPH/Workshops,” limited film screenings with “ArtFairPH/Film, photography, and digital exhibits in “ArtFairPH/Photo” and “ArtFairPH/Digital” respectively. In addition, there was also an “ArtFairPH/Tours” segment wherein those who participated toured the event to enhance their appreciation for the Philippine visual arts.


Familiar strokes and standout concepts

Some notable returning artists found in the fair include Yeo Kaa’s pastel and doll-like acrylic paintings that reflect her personal journey throughout the recent pandemic such as Minsan lumalabo talaga pero hindi ibig sabihin hindi na maganda. Jade Suayan’s street art also makes a comeback with her latest exhibition, SHIFT as it explores the themes of rebirth and awakening. Additionally, works from Cebu-based artists Janine Barrera, Golda King, Amanda LuYm, and Jewelle Yeung under Qube Gallery exhibit their unique perspectives on contemporary life. Moreover, an odd but intriguing set is displayed by Gean Brix Garcia’s Ceremonials paintings that depict social gatherings which invite viewers to become part of the work.


Besides the resident artists and exhibitors seen, there were also one-of-a-kind installations that caught the eyes of attendees. Romanian artist Andreea Medar had their installation, The Forever Garden, illuminating in the middle of a dimmed room which reminisces her childhood experiences. Cedrick Dela Paz, under Art Verité, features Dog Eat Dog, Rat Eat Rat which explores the relentless struggle for dominance under competing forces. There are also the vibrant works of a collaboration of artists under the Bacolod-based gallery, Orange Project, with their colorful chairs accompanied by also lively canvas paintings.


Art Fair Philippines 2024 also challenges the conventional notion of "fine art" with the Bagay Bagay exhibit, which showcases the work of 18 artists from the Manila Illustration Fair. This exhibit applies the art of illustration to everyday objects. Additionally, in partnership with the Embassy of Spain in Manila, Spanish artist Eugenio Ampudia presented an interactive installation titled "Be A Tree Now," serving as a call to action for climate justice. Attendees can also engage with a large graffiti wall provided by Pilipinas Street Plan, allowing them to spray paint, try graffiti tagging, and participate in wall bombing during the event.


Going beyond the canvas

Alternatively, other artistic forms were also showcased at the fair. FotomotoPH, a Manila-based collective of photographers, promotes Philippine contemporary photography through their annual exhibitions and nationwide programs. Additionally, the "ArtFairPH/Digital" section combines computer technology, animation, virtual or augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and the metaverse to create immersive digital art experiences. Regarding film, there's also a space for filmmakers and film enthusiasts to discuss the state of filmmaking in the Philippines, called NO SHOWING.


Other than the variety of artworks available for attendees to view and spaces to participate in, the talks were also engaging. "Caring for Collections in the Tropics - Paintings" discussed the preservation of art and other cultural materials in tropical countries like the Philippines. Attendees could also learn more about artist-run spaces and recent artist initiatives with the talk "Artists for Artists: Expanding Spaces for Creativity." Historian Ambeth Ocampo also shared his insights on archival photographs in his talk, "History from Archival Photographs," which delves into the various ways visual artists have utilized archival photographs as a medium.


Bringing out the best in contemporary and modern art, Art Fair Philippines 2024 provides a platform for every kind of artist and art enthusiast. From the seasoned artists and exhibitors returning to the event to the younger creatives being welcomed, the fair serves as a convergence of all things artistic, creative, and collaborative, highlighting a common appreciation for the production of art.


Missed out on this year’s Art Fair Philippines? Not to worry as you can catch the details of the next Art Fair Philippines event on Facebook, Instagram, and their official website