Tuesday, February 25, 2014

PHOTO DIARY | Art Fair Philippines 2014 (Part 1 of 3)

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A piece by Iggy Rodriguez, Manila Contemporary

I'm no art afficionado and I'll be the first to admit I know very little to nothing about art, but I'm glad we went to the Art Fair Philippines 2014 last Saturday. I certainly had a good time, snapping photos away with my phone, and the Php 150 entrance sure was money well-spent.

The event ran from Feb. 20-23 with a special VIP preview last Feb. 19. It was held at the 6th and 7th levels of The Link car park. Only on its second year, Art Fair Philippines bills itself as the premier platform for exhibiting and selling the best in modern and contemporary visual art. The 2014 staging featured 28 galleries (I didn't even know we had a lot of art galleries in the Philippines!) and 7 solo exhibitions, none of which I recognize. Well, except for BenCab and Kenneth Cobonpue.

Although the exhibitors have already packed up, their respective galleries are still very much open, which is why I decided to still post these photos anyway.


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Each exhibitor had a booth where everything from paintings to sculptures and whatnot were on display. Some booths were small, others large. An indication of how "big" a gallery is perhaps?

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Incidentally, My Bibe and I had quite the same taste in art. For the most part we were drawn to the same pieces, like this seemingly unfinished canvas here. There were also two other similarly themed pieces in their backroom.
 
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And this, too. Perfect for our taste but unfortunately not perfect for our wallets. This one here costs a whopping Php 200,000. But looking at the piece, I understand why it's priced as such. I looks like a slab of stone but it is a painting, with the artist using acrylic on canvas. Such detail!
 
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"Sense of Light" by Lao Lianben, Blanc Gallery

For the amount and consistency of detail, this one's also a wow.
 
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It's not a flat-out painting because of the variations in surfaces but it's still a painting because the surfaces were painted over. Okay, the clueless in me is rambling nonsense. Nonetheless, it's a nice piece.
 
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This here is one of a collection of interesting backlit pieces, all of which revolve around the mythical bakunawa (moon-eating dragon in Philippine folklore).
 
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Light boxes can be used without light after all. In this collection, the artist created some sort of 3D effect using screens and yarns. Pretty cool concept there!
 
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By Eugenia Alcaide, Art Informal

There were also some Orlinas on display. You know, those turquoise-colored glass sculptures? I love the amount of detail involved and just how polished and elegant they all look.
 
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Then there were pieces from our Southeast Asian neighbor Taksu Singapore that evoke this sense of nostalgia. There were installations of old photographs, mementos, and even religious icons.
 
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I'm loving the use of flattened bottle caps for the frames here. | Taksu Singapore

Other installations ingeniously parlayed objects we're familiar with into art, like paper cranes and scaffoldings, employing everything from wires to wood and glass.
 
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Looks like CGI but in real life, don't you think? | Altro Mondo

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"homage to homage" by Poklong Anading, 1335 Mabini

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There was also a special exhibit by Ronald Ventura, who happens to be one of the most highly acclaimed and commercially successful contemporary artists in the country. Reading through the souvenir program, I pointed out to My Bibe that he's from Malabon. There seems to be a lot of prominent Filipino artists who hail from that place. Something in the saltwater?
 
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"I wish it was just a dream but it wasn't" by Ronald Ventura

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Good doggie? But he's stepping on a kid! | Ronald Ventura

Meanwhile, it's colorful candyland at the Swatch pop-up exhibit. The brand is one of the co-presenters.
 
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The Swatch Pop-Up

There was also one curious installation composed of framed last pages ripped off from different novels, with those same books stacked up in one tall pile. I forgot the exact title but it was something like endings with no books and books with no endings.
 
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Ringo Bunoan, Manila Contemporary

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Ringo Bunoan, Manila Contemporary

There were cafes set up for visitors to the art fair and illuminated seats were scattered throughout the venue. And then there were pingpong tables that did not come in your usual green and white rectangles--and people were playing on them!
 
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"Pong on Earth" by Louie Cordero

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 There's still more art to show! (Continued in Part 2.)

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