As Filipino contemporary artists earn international acclaim, dedicated arts patrons Lisa Ongpin Periquet and Trickie C. Lopa felt it was high time to shine the spotlight on these talents here at home.
“We’re so excited about the inroads Philippine art has achieved within the worldwide contemporary arts community,” remarked Periquet at Ayala Museum to announce the inaugural Art Fair Philippines (AFP) 2013.
“One goal is to make sure Filipinos are aware that we have this exciting arts scene that we should all be proud of and fully support.”
To that end, Periquet and Lopa, organizers of the popular Art in the Park annual fair in Salcedo Village, and fellow Museum Foundation of the Philippines member Dindin B. Araneta have conceived a new exposition focused exclusively on Philippine contemporary art.
From Feb. 7 to 10, AFP will offer events and exhibits, including special lectures at Ayala Museum; displays of public artwork throughout Makati City as part of the Make It Happen, Make It Makati campaign, and a specially commissioned kinetic sculpture called “Asphalt” by Gabriel Barredo.
Twenty-four galleries such as Silverlens, Art Informal and Salcedo Auctions were invited to showcase their artists’ works.
“We didn’t want to cramp their style, but we also wanted to ensure that they considered what they put out, that there’s a message the pieces should be able to communicate,” explained Lopa about the fair’s collaborative yet tight curatorial direction.
The participating galleries have risen to the challenge, fielding a wide range of original installations created for AFP.
Among them is Bembol de la Cruz, 2011 Ateneo Art Awards winner, who is working on diptychs, revealed Sylvia Golamco-Gascon of Finale Art File.
Tin-aw Art Gallery will showcase Mark Justiniani. CANVAS will display works centered on the theme “Looking for Juan in Basketball” from six artists, including Elmer Borlongan, Emmanuel Garibay and Don Salubayba.
The exhibits will be on view at The Link car park between Landmark Shopping Center and the Makati Shangri-La Hotel—an unusual choice of venue but one in keeping with contemporary art’s nontraditional spirit.
“Manila doesn’t have any iconic venues. We wanted one that mirrors the vibrancy of the arts scene,” Lopa noted.
Added Periquet: “An important aspect of our concept was to transform an unexpected space into an exhibition venue.”
Furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue and architectural firm Leandro V. Locsin Partners helped with the makeover from parking garage to urban-art gallery, where visitors will be welcomed at a reception desk made from San Miguel Beer crates by multimedia artist Norberto “Peewee” Roldan Jr.
Although this is AFP’s first year, Periquet and Lopa hope to make it an annual affair.
“Our goal is to eventually become the standard for the country’s art fairs,” said Periquet.
More importantly, they want to expose fellow Filipinos to the rich artistic talent emerging at home. As Lopa observed: “If other people can see what we see and appreciate what our young artists are doing, then it’s really something to be proud of.”
Call Joyce Perlas at 0917-831600; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; visit www.artfairphilippines.com.