Among Art Fair Philippines 2020 must-sees is the multimedia group exhibit from 23 Bisaya artists hailing from Visayas and Mindanao.
It’s called “Giatay” and it’s curated by Kaloy Olivaes, Jan Sunday, and Jun Sabayton, who tells GMA News Online that the Cebuano expression actually has no direct translation in English or even in Tagalog.
"Katumbas siya ng ’sus.'" he said. “Kung paano ka nasa-satisfy, nafu-frustrate.”
A port of Giatay’s press statement reads: “According to historian, the liver being the seat of heightened emotion is inherent in Filipino culture.”
Giatay’s curators applied the same idea to art. Said Sabayton, “Maliban sa puso, ginagamit mo rin ang atay mo para gumawa ng artwork.”
Sabayton thought there was a relative lack of attention given to contemporary Bisaya art, which prompted him to roll up his sleeve and take action.
"Gusto ko silang i-organize na magkaron ng ibang art scene, magkaron sana ng voice at bagong audience na makita din yung Pilipinas na masagana sa sining at Kultura," Sabayton said.
"Isang malaking oportunidad sa ‘ming artists [ito],” said Jean Gavina Marquesto, an Art Fair first-timer, who has been at his craft for 31 years. ”Dream ko 'to, makaasok dito, maka-exhibit ng artwork, kaya nagpapasalamat ako ng buong puso."
For his Art Fair Philippines debut, Marquesto created illuminati shapes from threads. They represent "curses."
Another Art Fair first-timer is Gabi Nazareno, who contributed an artwork done in pencil and glazed in acrylic. It depicts a brain and at a bottom, the video can decipher a subtle image of a shouting face.
According to Nazareno, she made an artwork as a way to quiet these negative voices. “I decided to acknowledge that they are there and sort of command them by saying 'Batha.’ In Bisaya, that means, parang noisy pero stop."
She said she feels glad that artists from outside Metro Manila were given space and opportunity at something as big as Art Fair Philippines.
The all-Bisaya exhibit has various media showcased including painting, photography, and video art installations.
Other artists who will showcase their works include Bastinuod, Budoy Marabiles, Christian Linaban, Herm Bensi, Max Surban, John Villoria, Jukus Sepada, Mark “KDLT” Copino, Keith Deligero, Khriss Bajade, Lhee Taneo, Manny Migrino, Mirjam Dalire, Mykill, Soika Vomiter, Yoyoy Villame, Wyndelle Remonde, Ivan Zaldarriaga, Kolown, Ronyel Compra, and Fidel Ricafranca.
The fair promises to be more interactive this year, boasting of three new sections: Cinema, which celebrates 100 years of Philippine Cinema; Open Studios, which offer workshops; and Incubators where creative spaces outside the mainstream gallery format can participate.
Art Fair Philippines runs from February 21 to 23 at The Link Carpark in Makati. — LA, GMA News