Yeo Kaa’s 20-foot inflatable girl curled up with a goat, Leeroy New’s aliens and Zean Cabangis’ photos would be the anchor pieces at the upcoming Art in the Park.
The affordable art fair, with a ceiling price of P50,000 per item, will be on March 17, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., at Jaime Velasquez Park in Salcedo Village, Makati City.
Art in the Park is a selling event organized by Philippine Art Events, Inc. For its 13th edition, a portion of the sales will benefit the Museum Foundation of the Philippines, and aside from checking out artworks from the 56 exhibitors, fairgoers can also listen to the Soulful Mood trio and Bleu Rascals jazz group throughout the day.
There will be a food market, headlined by featured chef Justin Golangco who created the fried chicken specials both in Bucky’s Poblacion and Sidechick in Karrivin Plaza in Makati.
Grotesque pastel art
Kaa’s inflatable is titled “Alone But Not Lonely,” a pink girl holding an emotional support goat, which is based on Ato—the artist’s stuffed goat toy. She will also exhibit five giant figures recently on view in her “Wud Ya Do It” show. All of Kaa’s Art in the Park pieces were previously mounted in Yavuz Gallery in Singapore where she is resident artist.
Her stylized works are done in happy candy colors, pretty much like her hair which is currently purple (it’s been dyed in many colors of the rainbow, as shown on her Instagram).
Kaa has a disorder called “trichotillomania,” an irresistible urge to pull hair out when anxious or stressed. “So I colored my hair pretty so I won’t pluck it from the roots, I just snap it in the middle now,” she said, showing us her uneven bob.
The 29-year-old artist from Palawan was diagnosed with depression in 2010. She has been in therapy, and had been channeling her mood in creating art.
“After my diagnosis, my mom told me not to tell anyone about it, and that I should hide my condition: ‘Tatawagin ka nilang baliw,’ but people are more open now.”
Kaa’s paintings and sculptures revolve around the dark theme of chaos and despair, but all are done in brights and pastels. Many find her works relatable since, “lahat ng tao nakaka-experience ng mga ganyang bagay at some point, minsan hindi lang talaga tayo OK.”
For Art in the Park, she initially wanted the five-foot figures to be hanging from their heads, like in her Singapore show, but they would be on platforms instead.
“Magmumukha raw kasing nagbigti,” she said.
Kaa said that she was on suicide watch, and her mother made her promise not to do it. She agreed, but blocked her mom on social media.
“Ayaw ko siyang mag-worry,” she said, getting emotional. “She used to go to my exhibits but got disturbed with my works, so now I just allow her to see my art na kalma lang.”
We are looking forward to New’s Aliens of Manila project which plays “upon the idea of offbeat characters who thrive on the edge of the urban landscape.” It is copresented by Heineken beer.
Painter and photographer Cabangis created the official Art in the Park postcards by photo-transfering an image and painting over it.
Tip: Canvas (Center for Art, New Ventures and Sustainable Development) did a social experiment last year and sold an unsigned BenCab painting to a lucky, unsuspecting buyer. Founder Gigo Alampay said on Instagram that Canvas will be selling unsigned artworks again, but he won’t reveal who the artists are till someone bought the pieces already.
Canvas also sells repurposed tarpaulin totes and quirky hand-painted abaniko—functional art which are perfect for summer.