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All’s fair in art and art

Untitled brass and copper sculpture, Alab Pagarigan    

MANILA, Philippines - Last year at The Link, the very first Art Fair launched as a collective showcase of selected contemporary art galleries in a single space. Closing down an entire floor of The Link's car park in Makati, a wide and carefully curated selection of art from over 10 different galleries was gathered for the art event of the year. Yesterday, Feb. 20, the Art Fair once again opened its doors to the public to show the best of what contemporary Filipino art has to offer. After its successful first run last year, the Art Fair is the largest exhibit of its kind in the Philippines, making contemporary art and burgeoning Filipino artists a lot more accessible to the public. Modern art isn’t just for collectors and intellectuals, and the Art Fair is the perfect platform for both fans and those with a curious mind to view the spectacular pieces on display in these specially curated exhibits. We’ve run down a list of some of our favorite galleries, and what you can expect to see from the art event of the year.

Altro Mondo Arte Contemporarea - Booth 21

Altro Mondo Arte Contemporarea’s showing at Art Fair is more than just a booth — this year, PMAP (Printmakers Association of the Philippines) member, Ambie Ambano, is specially curating the space. In "Impulse-Earth Pulse," Altro Mondo brings together artists Ambie Abaño, Olivia d’Aboville, Roberto Feleo, Niccolo Jose, Alab Pagarigan, and Orley Ypon,whose artworks are beautifully singular, but all inspired by nature. Niccolo Jose, most famous for his artworks installed in Washington Square Park, embodies this theme by sculpting with wood, transforming it into art and furniture, using trees collected by both him and his father. Olivia d’Aboville, whose name has slowly become venerated in art circles for her Anemone lamp, takes a very different approach using her medium of metal, transforming it into pieces that are both static and fluid, just as creatures in the sea or stars in nature would be.

3rd Level, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City +63 2 501 3270 to 71 info@altromondo.ph

Blanc - Booth 13

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Unlike most galleries exhibiting in Art Fair, Blanc’s space will be changed daily, a rotating exhibit of sorts. Owned by Jay Amante, Blanc is a contemporary gallery known for its support of both established and unknown Filipino artists. Displaying new artwork at Art Fair every day, according to Amante, will make collectors visit the booth more often, necessary for the artists to both thrive and survive. This weekend, each artist represented by Blanc is submitting tightly curated artworks, all measuring 30" by 24" each. Among the names found in Booth 13: Janet Balbarona, Jonathan Ching, Julius Redillas, The Weather Bureau and more. Hamilton Sulit’s series on oil on shaped canvas entitled "When Clouds Become Falling Knives" is one of the standouts. A dark, disenchanting treatise encapsulating the spirit of Sulit’s earlier works, it continues his theme of a fallen utopia, of dreams demolished.

145 Katipunan Ave., St. Ignatius Village, Quezon City 1110 M: +63 920 927 6436 T: +632-4425262 info@blanc.ph

West Gallery - Booth 8

West Gallery has quickly become one of Manila’s leading curators of modern art. Home to several rising contemporary artists in the Philippine art scene such as Luis Santos and sister Carina, their space in this year’s Art Fair is a beautifully curated exhibit showcasing artwork from some new, young blood. Aside from the Santos siblings, artists Andres Barrioquinto, Nilo Ilarde, Jason Montinola, Jigger Cruz and many other, are coming together at Booth 8 for another of West Gallery’s talked-about exhibits. Kaloy Sanchez, the famed recluse who has now exhibited in Kuala Lumpur, will be displaying "Opium," a quietly transcendent acrylic and graphite piece on canvas, while relative veteran Soler Santos’ untitled piece will find its temporary home in the space.

48 West Ave., Quezon City T: +63 2 411 0336

1335 Mabini - Booth 18

Artist Poklong Ananding has already gained fame across the globe — after receiving an Ateneo Art Award twice, one of his pieces from his "Counter Act" series was added by New York’s Guggenheim Museum to their permanent collection. On display during the weekend is his sculpture "Homage to Homage," a beautiful, sleek metal andamios. An ode to the humble builder, whose work goes unnoticed once a building is completed, it is a "microcosm of the foundations of a rising structure," according to artist Cocoy Lumbao. 1335 Mabini’s sister gallery, Mabiniextn, will also be at Art Fair, and will include work by Jeona Zoleta and Jayson Oliviera, among others.

1335 A. Mabini Street Ermita, Manila info@1335mabini.com T: +63 2 254 8498 M: +63 917 886 7231

Artinformal - Booth 10

Eugenia Alcaide has now become a name to be reckoned with in the world of Filipino contemporary art. One of Artinformal’s most treasured artists, her first exhibit in the gallery was in 2012, and since then she has gone on to display her work in Art Stage Singapore. For the second year in a row, she is Artinformal’s featured artist, due to her medium of thread on silkscreen, which showcases her unique ability to construct dimensional, tangible images through draping threads. This time around, her exhibition is entitled "Cradle," a subject matter Alcaide hasn’t explored before. Using her inimitable sculptural drawings, she tackles a personal muse — "Cradle" marks the beginning of Alcaide’s career as both an artist and a mother.

277 Connecticut Street, Greenhills East, Mandaluyong City T: +63 2 725 8518 M: +63 918 899 2698

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