Art Fair PH is all set for 11th edition: What to expect 2
Artworks by Jopet Arias of CryptoArt PH (left) and Jigger Cruz are part of this year's Art Fair Philippines. Handout

Art Fair Philippines is all set for its 11th edition: Here's what to expect

Mark your calendars, art enthusiasts, as the country's premier art fair is happening this February.
Karen Flores Layno, ABS-CBN News | Jan 17 2024

Mark your calendars, art enthusiasts, as the country's premier art fair is happening this February. 

From February 16 to 18, artists, galleries, curators, and educators will gather at The Link carpark in Makati for the 11th edition of Art Fair Philippines. A total of 55 exhibitors from the Philippines, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as the Metaverse, are expected to take part in the three-day event. 

Co-founder Trickie Lopa noted how far the local art scene has come, saying both Filipino audiences and artists "are ready to be challenged and expand their mindsets to global conversations."

"At first we just wanted to introduce the audience to the Philippine art scene, but we've seen that the audience has been ready for something more. They're always ready to absorb more, to learn more, to see more, and we try to keep up with that every year," she told ABS-CBN News on the sidelines of their launch event. "As you can see from our programming, it's so deep. It really gets deeper and more interesting every year."

Art Fair Philippines once again tapped production designer and theater director Ed Lacson to create a space for its Projects section, which will present works by renowned Filipino artists such as Jonathan Ching, Jigger Cruz, Gean Brix Garcia, and Rod Paras-Perez. Also to be featured here are a group of muralist painters mentored by Alfredo Esquillo Jr. and Renato Habulan, Brooklyn-based multi-disciplinary artist Mr. StarCity, Romanian conceptual artist Andreea Medar, and Spanish artist Eugenio Ampudia.

Jonathan Ching (left) and Mr. StarCity are part of Art Fair Philippines' Projects section this year. Handout

The Projects section will also have a special exhibit titled "Pambabae" which highlights Filipino women modernists, with works by Ivi Avellana Cosio, Ileana Lee, Nelfa Querubin, Evelyn Collantes, Phyllis Zaballero, and Lilian Hwang. In another exhibit, Gean Brix Garcia joins other recipients of the Karen H. Montinola Selection grant in a 10-year retrospective curated by art consultant Norman Crisologo. 

Works by recipients of the Karen H. Montinola Selection grant. Handout

On the other hand, the Residencies section will showcase illustrations, photographs, videos, performances, and objects by Mark Salvatus of Quezon City, Anna Miguel Cervantes of Cavite, Jett Ilagan of La Union, Julian Tapales of Palawan, Renz Baluyot of Bacolod, and international artists Iseult Perrault and Petr Hajdyla.

This year's Art Fair Philippines will also have areas focused on digital media featuring Daata founder David Gryn and CryptoArt PH; photography with FotomotoPH; film with Moira Lang; and talks with the Ateneo Art Gallery. 

Complementing the 11th Art Fair Philippines is the 10 Days of Art initiative, where galleries, museums, and other establishments celebrate the best of contemporary art around the Makati central business district. Visitors can check out the Gallery Weekend at various locations from February 9 to 11, as well as public art by Derek Tumala ("A Warm Orange-Colored Liquid" at the Tower One Fountain area along Ayala Avenue) and Isaiah Cacnio ("Prismatic Embrace" on the Green Wall of Ayala Triangle Garden Tower 2). 

A glimpse of "Prismatic Embrace" by Isaiah Cacnio. Handout

"Back then, nobody would be interested in any of this international [art], everybody was focused on the local," Lopa recalled. "Now -- and I think the art fair has a lot to do with this -- the art scene is flourishing and expanding, and even Filipino artists have looked towards working with more than just paint and canvas."

"A certain sense of pride and satisfaction," she added, when asked how she feels after seeing how much the landscape has changed over the years. "And we're already talking about next year [for the art fair], so it's like we're here for the long haul. I think we're very far from where we've started in terms of art appreciation." 

Tickets to Art Fair Philippines can be purchased in advance on the event's website. These will also be sold at the reception area at The Link from February 16 to 18.