Visual arts dynamism has been a key factor in re-establishing the Philippines as a cultural powerhouse in the region.
Whether in art shows or auctions or even on social media, Filipino artists have been featured prominently. And it is this achievement that is underlined by ManilART, the annual art fair which runs Oct. 12-15 at SMX Convention Center, SM Aura in Taguig City.
Established in 2009 by the National Committee on Art Galleries (NCAG) of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) as a response to the modern-day Philippine art revolution that was just beginning at the time, ManilART as an international art fair remains the most anticipated of its kind in the region.
Because of the country’s rich history and the diversity of foreign influences, Philippine art has contributed significantly to expanding the artistic frontiers of Southeast Asia. Philippine art is at once Asian and European, Catholic and Muslim, avant-garde and traditional, contemporary and folk, local and global. ManilART has always sought to reflect this richness.
Highlight of the fair is Mindanao.
Kublai Millan from Davao will exhibit at the VIP Lounge. He explained that Mindanao faith is rooted in and coexists with nature, and he demonstrated this by his larger-than-life public sculptures in Davao. He explained that artists must be grounded on their communities so as to expand their spirituality and develop a deeper understanding of their art.
Also looking to develop the local identity—this time with a focus on the youth—is Roberto Lolong, who has created digital background painting for popular animes such as “Slam Dunk,” “Dragon Ball Z” and “One Piece.” Lolong will conduct a free watercolor painting workshop.
Italian painter Viviana Riccelli, meanwhile, will show the link between figurative arts and dance in her workshop (pre-registration required). Mosaic artist Lisa de Leon-Zayco will do a demonstration of her unique art making.
Live mural demo
France-based European artists Henri Lamy, Alexandre Beretta, Chufy, Abdul Khadre Seck of Taverne Gutenberg, Lyon, with project director Maia d’Aboville, will do a live mural painting demonstration.
Danny Rayos del Sol, ManilART curator, will pay homage to his hometown in “Taguig Then and Now,” opposite Lolong’s “Cut-Outs for Life.” Taguig has been the host of ManilART for several years now.
Thirty-seven art galleries are participating. The 2017 organizing committee is composed of Delan Robillos, head of NCCA-NCAG, Rayos del Sol, Rio Ambrosio, Amy Loste of Bonafide Art Galleries Organization (Bago) and Tess Rayos del Sol, fair director.
ManilART Fair 2017 is presented by the NCCA, Bago and and ManilArt Foundation. —CONTRIBUTED