Culture / Art Republik

Art Fair Philippines 2018

Highlights at Art Fair Philippines 2018

Feb 21, 2018 | By Mary Ann Lim

The Philippines has recently experienced a nascent growth in its visual art audience, which manifested in a record attendance of more than 40,000 visitors over a four-day period at Art Fair Philippines (AFP) 2017. For the 2018 edition, The Link carpark at Ayala Centre in Makati,  Manila will be transformed once again into a multi-level exhibition venue, serving as the unorthodox but spacious host for the art fair. Running from 1 to 4 March 2018, AFP will see 51 participating galleries showcase the best in modern and contemporary Philippine art that they can offer.

Installation view from Art Fair Philippines 2017

Capitalising on the burgeoning interest in contemporary Philippine art, AFP will introduce a new section, ArtFairPh/ Photo. By allocating an exclusive space for photography in the art fair, AFP both honours the work of photographers and their contributions to the Philippine art scene, while expanding awareness and collectability of photography as art amongst Filipinos. Speaking ahead of the fair, co-founder Lisa Periquet says, “We feel that the time is right to do this, as the fair has opened up the exposure of Manila’s audience to various visual art practices. Hopefully, photography can finally find its place in our local art scene.”

Eduardo Masferre, ‘Investigating a Camera’, 1948, gelatin silver photograph

Another new feature of this year’s AFP will be the specially curated ArtFairPh/ Projects. Here, internationally established practitioners such as filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik, visual artist Lyra Garcellano, and champion of ethnographic art Leonard Aguinaldo, will be commissioned to exhibit at AFP.

A special project exhibit entitled ‘Provocations’ will be curated by Neal Oshima and Angel Velasco Shaw, both veterans of documentary art in their own right. In particular, Neal Oshima is known for his extensive body of work dedicated to photographing indigenous tribes and traditions. Placing an interesting spin in their curation, the exhibit sheds light on Philippine culture by presenting a culled selection of long-form narratives and excerpts of stories put in dialogue with each other. The works will be gathered from a range of both established and emerging photographers and photojournalists who are not affiliated with galleries.

Kidlat Tahimik

Several returning art galleries and institutions have also promised to bring something fresh to the growing audiences at AFP. Teresa Rances, the Philippine Programme Director of the Asian Cultural Council (ACC) revealed that for 2018, the collaboration of Leon Gallery and ACC Philippines Foundation Inc. will highlight a century of Philippine Art in relation to its global interconnectedness. The roster includes: Jose Joya who returns with a work created in New York City; Brittany-based painter Macario Vitalis; and Ang Kiukok whose exposure to the West resulted in his works of intense alienation.

To add to this extensive line-up of art presented at AFP, Tin-Aw Gallery will be joined by many artists whom the gallery has been working with the past few years. As gallery director Dawn Atienza says, “What will be different is the concept of the show.  Every year, Tin-aw strives to come up with interesting exhibitions within the context of the fair. We are on our 10th year, and this 2018 exhibition will be a celebration of sorts for the gallery.”

Florian Graf, ‘Pond and Floe’, 2015, Lambda prints on Alu-Dibond, 80 x 60cm

In conjunction with the fair’s education based efforts, ArtFairPh/ Talks and ArtFairPh/ Tours will make reappearances this year. Organised alongside Ateneo Art Gallery, the talks will headline conversations with panels of renowned curators, such as Clara Kim of TATE Modern and others from Mori Art Museum in Tokyo and the National Art Gallery of Singapore. Continuing to complement the fair is also the ‘10 Days of Art’ initiative, which acts as the precursor to an impressive slew of events, public art installations and museum openings around Metro Manila. Opening 10 days prior to AFP, ‘10 Days of Art’ extends the fair beyond the scope of the main exhibition venue at The Link, and brings art directly to the public for mass enjoyment.

ART REPUBLIK is proud to be a media partner of Art Fair Philippines.

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