Art in general has always been thought of as difficult to understand, or only for the wealthy, highbrow crowd. But ever since Art Fair Philippines was established eight years ago, the organizers of this famous, annual art-fair-in-a-carpark has always made it a point to dispel these misconceptions.
Art Fair Philippines’ Trickie Lopa, along with co-founders Dindin Araneta and Lisa Periquet, reiterate the need to expand the audience for Philippine visual arts.
“We feel that the fair provides a platform for that development, because in the past eight years, we managed to attract 30,000 visitors each year,” Lopa explained during Tuesday's press conference.
“It means that we have a growth here, and that’s we’ve been influencing a whole new generation of art lovers, artists, aficionados, and cultural workers. And that’s why we feel the fair can make a difference.”
Because of this, the organizers will be introducing new components that are in line with this mission at the 2020 edition of the fair, which will run from February 21 to 23.
Learn from the artists themselves
In the past editions of Art Fair Philippines, there were the Art Talks, wherein topics that ranged from the creation process to curation and even accounting for creatives were discussed. This year, Art Fair PH does one better by creating ArtFairPH/Open Studios, a series of hands-on workshops and demos with the artists and professionals who are all experts in their field.
“This is part of our educational thrust that goes hand in hand with the Art Talks program,” Periquet said. “The reason we are doing this is so we can provide people with creative processes. So, if you want to know how an artist creates a work of art, how he does it, how he thinks about it, this is for you. And this is available for a small fee, and we are hoping to get a wide audience for this.”
Some of the workshops that will be offered at ArtFairPH/Open Studios include a two-day workshop with photographer Paco Guerrero or portrait photography, while Neil Oshima and Mark Nicdao will discuss practical lighting techniques for photography.
Association of Pinoyprintmakers will teach rubber cutting, and you can make sculptural pieces with Tahanan Pottery’s Rita Gudiño. “Benji Reyes, the famous furniture maker, will be talking about how he forms his distinctive curvy wood work,” Periquet adds.
Watch art films outdoors
Art Fair Philippines 2020 will be introducing the ArtFairPH/Film section curated by writer/editor/film music scorer Erwin Romulo, film critic Philbert Dy, and director and archivist Teddy Co.
One activity of this inaugural cinema program is the outdoor screening of selected art films that will be projection-mapped onto the curved ceiling of Tower One of the former Philippine Stock Exchange at Ayala Triangle from February 14 to 16, much like a modern version of a drive-through movie, but with the audience lying down.
“We invite you to bring your dates on Valentine’s Day to our outdoor cinema extravaganza at Tower One, where the screenings will be projected onto the ceiling,” Lopa says. “This is a tie-up with our film program, which is designed to take cinema to the 21st century. People view movies differently now—we view it on our phones, we sit down in a theatre; this is another way.”
There will also be a screening of selected films from the past 100 years, as well as a panel that will discuss “The Future of Cinema in the Philippines.” But don’t miss Lyle Nemenzo Sacris’s film “Self-Portrait,” composed of 7,107 frames, with each frame a portrait of a different Filipino, which will be projected onto the façade of The Link building, so that everyone—and not only the Art Fair goers—could watch it.
Discover under-the-radar artists
The ArtFairPH/Projects section is often one of the most-visited spaces at the fair; the thousands of visitors stitching their sentiments onto renowned artist David Medalla’s participatory work “A Stitch in Time” at the 2019 Art Fair is proof of this.
This year, Art Fair Philippines will turn their focus onto lesser-known, or under-the-radar artists, so that visitors and art patrons will become more familiar with their amazing works. One of them is Jellyfish Kisses (real name: Anton Belardo), who creates not only art installations, but entire “environments” in his exhibits. Last year, Belardo created a psychedelic, decidedly interactive karaoke room at Vinyl on Vinyl Gallery.
Other artists of ArtFairPH/Projects to watch out this year are Bacolod-born Perry Argel who makes intricately wrought installation art out of found objects, and young artist Gene Paul Martin and his large-scale paintings.
Enjoy art all over the city
Like past Art Fairs, even non-Art Fair goers will get a chance to discover the works of art that will be popping up all over Makati City from February 14 to 23, from Legaspi Village to Poblacion, as well as special events, performances, and exhibits at museums and galleries outside of the fair.
Art Fair attendees will get to enjoy special offers from partnering establishments and restaurants—such as Chuck Gonzalez’s artwork on top of a cocktail drink at Run Rabbit Run in Poblacion last year—when they present their tickets. Check out 10 Days of Art and Instagram @10daysofartph for details.
Catch Art Fair Philippines 2020 at The Link Carpark in Makati City from February 21 to 23, 10am to 9pm. A regular ticket for the Art Fair costs P350 each, and you can pre-purchase them by clicking on their website and selecting a date.