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From carpark to contemporary art haven

A painting by Manuel Ocampo

MANILA, Philippines - Philippine contemporary art has been receiving more and more recognition. The number of galleries rising, the record-breaking auction results and the participation of local artists in important international events are but some indications that it is indeed flourishing. Art Fair Philippines (AFP) 2013 was organized by Dindin B. Araneta, Trickie C. Lopa, and Lisa O. Periquet to afford a glimpse into this world.

“This is an avenue to expose fellow Filipinos to contemporary art, while also being a venue for the international market,” shares Lopa. Periquet adds, “It will showcase art that is of our time; focusing on contemporary art that is current. We worked with 24 of the best known galleries and art groups who we know have good ideas.”

This will be staged at the sixth floor of The Link carpark building. In order to transform the space, the organizers involved Kenneth Cobonpue and Leandro V. Locsin Partners to style and lay out the exhibitions. Periquet explains, “This is an exciting alternative and non-traditional venue. By employing a tight curatorial direction, it assures to be a multi-layered experience. We will have a variety of artworks made especially for the fair. Most definitely, it will be a new and fresh collection.”

 Art aficionados and enthusiasts should look forward to “Asphalt,” a specially-commissioned sculpture from renowned kinetic sculptor Gabriel Barredo. The rambling installation’s intriguing, fantastical folly imbued with the amazing creative and mechanical genius of the artist guarantees to be a visual spectacle, which will leave everyone breathless. In the same way, a specially-commissioned reception desk created entirely of iconic San Miguel Beer crates by artist Norberto Roldan will welcome guests to the event. Add to that, a surprise offering from auction superstar Ronald Ventura is in the works, according to the organizers.

There is also an undeniable support coming from the participating galleries. “We practically dared Trickie into doing this,” says Sylvia Golamco-Gascon of Finale Art File which will exhibit works by Bembol Dela Cruz for the duration of the fair. Rachel Rillo of Silverlens, which will mount a group exhibition for the event, says, “We are very excited. We worked with them before and pushed them to start this.”

“If you are going to take this chance we will take it with you. It’s about time that something like this happens,” adds Dawn Atienza of Tin-Aw Gallery which will mount a solo show by Mark Justiniani.

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“We thought of a concept revolving around basketball for the fair. The artists generated ideas about the game and its essence to most Filipinos and translated these ideas into art pieces to engage the audience,” shares J Pacena as the curator for CANVAS which will unveil works by Elmor Borlongan, Emmanuel Garibay, Anthony Palomo, Don Salubayba and John Javellana. Other major galleries participating in the event are: Altro Mondo, Art Cube, Art Informal, Avellana Art Gallery, B.A.R. (Bureau of Artistic Rehab), Blanc, Boston Gallery, The Drawing Room, Galleria Duemila, Light and Space Contemporary, Liongoren Gallery, Manila Contemporary, MO Space, Now Gallery, Pablo Galleries, Paseo Gallery, Philippine Art Awards, Salcedo Auctions, Secret Fresh and West Gallery.

Aside from transforming the sixth floor of carpark building into an exhibition space, AFP 2013 boasts other activities to complement it.

According to organizers, lectures will be held at the Ayala Museum. In addition, there will also be the Urban Art Project of the “Make It Happen, Make It Makati” campaign, which aims to give the people of Makati a unique art experience. There will also be art installations in various areas of the city, including some unexpected commercial and financial establishments. “There will be large artworks in public areas that will be displayed for one month; like Charlie Co who will present larger than life works and Mark Justiniani showing his giant sling shot and Filipino playthings,” says Periquet.

Lopa concludes, “There will be a day where Leeroy New will also showcase his wearable art which we feel embodies the vibrancy in the art scene.”

This promises to be a rich visual experience for everyone.

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From Feb. 7 to 10, Art Fair Philippines (AFP) 2013 will transform the sixth floor of The Link carpark building into a vibrant art boutique. Free tickets will be given to Makati students in groups of four and below (with prior notice). For information about Art Fair Philippines 2013, schedule, tickets and complete list of participants, visit www.artfairphilippines.com.

 

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