Don’t be surprised, said organizers of Art Fair Philippines 2016. This is because art aficionados are getting younger.
Dindin Araneta, one of Art Fair’s organizers, noted it is no longer strange to see young families with small children enjoying the annual art event. The fair that began in 2013 aims to bring art to the people by staging them in highly accessible areas like underpasses, sidewalks and parking lots around Makati City.
Art Fair Philippines 2016 will be held Feb. 18-21 at The Link, a car-park facility in Makati’s Ayala Center. This time, however, it spreads out to three floors instead of two.
Araneta said the first Art Fair brought in around 6,000 guests. And then it increased to 10,000. Last year’s event drew 16,000 people.
The choice of a parking building was deliberate. “We want a venue that sends a message that art is accessible.People should not feel forced to dress up and act formally,” Araneta explained.
Art Fair co-organizer Trickie Lopa added that art collectors now are also “getting younger. And a lot of younger working people are interested in learning about art.”
The annual fair, Araneta pointed out, also offers advantages to participating galleries to attract the newly curious.
“You can see that more people are interested in art now because the galleries themselves tell us that more people visit,” Lopa said. “We believe Art Fair Philippines has played its role inbringing Philippine art to a wider audience.”
Galleries from other parts of Asia, like Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan, are joining Art Fair Philippines 2016.
The organizers said a curated section of solo presentations by critically and commercially successful artists will be installed in two levels at the main fair. A third level will be devoted to its educational component, ArtFairPh/Talks— a lecture theater for discussions on art history, the art market and current practices in contemporary art. Art Fair Philippines has teamed up with the Ateneo Art Gallery for this.
The Brisbane-based global art fair veterans Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan head this year’s special exhibits. Other special exhibitors include Mark Justiniani, whose installation art and three-dimensional works reveal deft manipulations of form and light; Dutch-Filipino Martha Atienza, known for her artistic visual essays on water; and Nona Garcia, who is noted for her juxtapositions of paintings and X-ray prints.
Also highlighted are the works of At Maculangan, who will feature portraits of two foley artists working on threading together sounds from a boxing match; Raffy Napay, who will present multicolored threads sewn or tufted onto canvas to appear like oil paintings; Mac Valdezco, who uses industrial remnants as art medium; and Pamela Yan Santos, who covered a cement floor of the parking lot with a carpet to evoke the feel of a “lush pasture.”