Art Fair Philippines 2014: Back with a vengeance

On February 20 to 23, The Link car park will be transformed into a lively center of activity that will house the finest contemporary art pieces from all over the Philippines. The energetic chatter of art aficionados from all walks of life will resonate and replace the usual silence of the lot as Art Fair Philippines unleashes to the public the most exciting contemporary artists dominating the local market.

Enjoying the success of their urban art fair last year that enjoyed around 6,000 visitors, Art Fair Philippines is back with a vengeance striving to continuously promote awareness and appreciation for the arts.

“Why do we organize art fair Philippines? Because we are a little crazy undoubtedly,” shares organizer Trickie Lopa humorously. “The three of us (Lopa, Dindin Araneta and Lisa Periquet) have been working for 10 years; we have always felt that Philippine contemporary art should have a place in our national psyche and this art fair hopes to do that. I have derived enjoyments from art, I learned so much from the artists and galleries and we just felt that it’s time to build appreciation for the contemporary art scene. Art should belong to everybody interested and we want to make sure this fair represents that. We also envision the fair to create a market for our artists; as a people we are very creative people and we also see the art fair as an educational tool, as a way to inspire the artists to carry on with their work.”

Increasing in number from the previous year, Art Fair Philippines will be expanding, boasting almost 50 percent more space. The participating galleries for Art Fair Philippines 2014 include: Altro Mondo, Archivo, Art Cube, Art Informal, Avellana Art Gallery, Blanc, Boston Gallery, CANVAS, Crucible, Equator Art Projects, Finale, Galleria Duemila, Light and Space Contemporary, Liongoren Gallery, Manila Contemporary, MO Space, NOVA, Now Gallery, Pablo, Paseo Art Gallery, Richard Koh Fine Art, Salcedo Private View, Secret Fresh, Silverlens, TAKSU, The Drawing Room, Tin-Aw, West Gallery, and 1335 Mabini.

Beyond the creatively stimulating new offerings of the distinguished galleries, many more special events are in store for this year’s visitors. Aside from the tasteful transformation of the car park to an electrifying art space with the cooperation of architects Leandro V. Locsin Partners and designer Kenneth Cobonpue, there are also site-specific installations which include works by Rodel Tapaya, a piece by Jose John Santos III and graphic wallpapers from UK-trained artist Pio Abad. Likewise, that there will be a host of other activities that will arouse artistic curiosities.

“We have a lecture series sponsored by Christie’s,” shares Lisa Periquet on the exciting new additions of AFP. “It’s called the Christie’s Art Forum.  Last year we had small talks in another venue but this year it’s going to be within the venue and the talks are going to be sponsored by Christie’s. They came in this year, I think they saw how successful the fare was and we were able to give a lot of exposure to Philippine artists. A lot of art professionals in the region are flying in for the fair this year. They are sending their people to do some general talks on the art market; this is open to the public. They have a special venue on the upper floor the seventh floor, and they are also putting together a panel on three well known Philippine artists, which will be moderated by somebody from here and somebody from Christie’s as well.”

Christie’s is a world-renowned art auction house with its headquarters in London and New York, whose participation in the art fair will be beneficial for expanding local art lovers’ knowledge by sharing their expertise in the field of arts.

The second floor, known as the Ayala Art Annex, will also feature works of national artist Benedicto Cabrera, as well as solo exhibitions by Marina Cruz, Geraldine Javier, and Ronald Ventura.

Other events include The Urban Art Project, which is a joint initiative with Ayala Land that features art in strategic locations within the Makati Commercial Center. Visitors can take their time going around the space as casual dining and cocktails are available at the venue courtesy of Kai Restaurant and The Straits Wine Company

“We target everybody,” adds Periquet. “We’re trying to do several things here. We’re trying to raise awareness and appreciation for art, we’re trying to promote the accessibility to and we’re trying to create a market for art, artists, galleries and collectors.”

Great art, exciting dialogues and fine wine. What more can you ask for?

Art Fair Philippines will open to the public from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on February 20 to 23, 2014. The Link car park building is located between the Makati Shangri-la Hotel and the Landmark Department Store in Makati City. Entrance Fee is P150 with 50 percent discount for students.